Gastritis is the name for several conditions that all result in inflammation of the stomach and may cause nausea, vomiting, and a burning pain in your upper abdomen. While it often passes without treatment, prolonged gastritis can cause complications or be a sign of other digestive diseases. Stuart Finkel, MD, of NY Gastroenterology & Digestive Disorders in Upper East Side, New York City, treats gastritis when its symptoms become too much to manage on your own. If you would like to set up an appointment, call the office or schedule an appointment online today.
Gastritis describes a few conditions that may have different causes but all have one thing in common, they cause inflammation in your stomach. Your stomach is protected from stomach acid by a thin layer of mucus, but when this mucus layer becomes weak or injured, your stomach can become irritated and begin to swell.
Usually, this swelling is caused by a bacterial infection, the same infection that causes most stomach ulcers, but there are other, less common causes as well. Drinking too much alcohol or overusing certain common painkillers like ibuprofen or naproxen can cause gastritis. Digestive diseases like Crohn’s disease can make you more susceptible to it as well.
Gastritis can be identified by a gnawing or burning pain that occurs in your upper abdomen, as well as nausea and vomiting. You may also notice feeling especially bloated or full in your upper abdomen after you eat.
These symptoms may come on quickly, in what’s called acute gastritis, or appear gradually over time and grow in severity, called chronic gastritis. In some cases, gastritis will come and go without you ever even noticing a symptom.
Usually, gastritis is minor or short-lived enough that you won’t need medical attention, and the best idea is to just rest with some antacids and bland foods. Sometimes, however, your gastritis could be a sign that you have something else wrong with you.
If you’ve had gastritis symptoms for over a week, you should schedule an appointment to see Dr. Finkel at NY Gastroenterology & Digestive Disorders. Even if your gastritis is chronic, sustained symptoms over a long period of time can be dangerous to your stomach lining.
If you take painkillers like aspirin, ibuprofen (AdvilⓇ), or naproxen (AleveⓇ) often and experience symptoms of gastritis, you should see Dr. Finkel right away since this could be an early symptom of a severe stomach injury.
Finally, if at any point you see blood in your stool or in your vomit, schedule an appointment right away.
If Dr. Finkel determines you have gastritis severe enough for treatment, there are several strategies he may recommend to tackle your symptoms.
Various types of medication can be used to combat gastritis, depending on the cause. Antibiotics can be used to fight certain bacterial causes of gastritis, while drugs like proton pump inhibitors or acid blockers can limit the acid your stomach produces and give time for the lining to heal. On top of this, you may take an antacid to help ease your symptoms.
If you have questions about gastritis, call Dr. Finkel’s office or schedule an appointment online today.