Inflammatory stomach diseases
Last updated date: 17-Oct-2022
Originally Written in English
Inflammatory stomach diseases
Inflammatory stomach diseases occur when the stomach gets inflamed or swell. This mostly happens if the lining of the stomach is damaged. Besides, stomach inflammation conditions are either mild inflammation or chronic inflammation.
Chronic inflammation occurs slowly with time. It can be long-lasting and recurrent and can last for years or sometimes a lifetime if not treated on time. On the other hand, the mild condition can develop suddenly and is less severe. However, you can address this through lifestyle changes and medication.
Causes of Inflammatory Stomach Diseases
The digestive juices can inflame and damage the soft stomach lining, causing inflammatory stomach disease. A patient with a damaged or thin stomach lining is at a high risk of developing an inflammatory disease.
Digestive system bacteria can trigger inflammatory stomach conditions. A bacterium known as helicobacter pylori (h.pylori), is the common cause of infection of stomach lining. This infection can also be passed from one person to another and sometimes transmitted via contaminated water or food.
In addition, health conditions, such as Crohn’s disease and sarcoidosis, can increase the risks of inflammatory stomach diseases. These conditions are characterized by the accumulation of inflammatory cells that grow in the body.
Risks Factors of Inflammatory Stomach Diseases
Some of the risk factors of inflammatory stomach diseases include;
Frequent use of pain-relieving drugs:
The most common pain-relieving drugs, including aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen, can result in acute and chronic inflammatory stomach conditions. Also, regular or excessive use of these drugs can alter the important substance preserving the protective stomach lining.
H.pylori infection is the most widespread infection affecting many people across the world. Sometimes, people with this infection develop inflammatory stomach conditions and related digestive system issues. Medical experts believe that the susceptibility of the bacteria can be inherited or triggered by certain lifestyle choices, including diet and smoking.
Excessive consumption of alcohol:
Too much alcohol use can corrode and irritate the stomach lining, making the stomach more susceptible to digestive juices. This could eventually result in acute inflammatory stomach disease.
The body attacking the stomach cells:
This is referred to as autoimmune stomach inflammation. It develops when the body fights or resists the cells making up the lining of the stomach. This condition is usually common among individuals with autoimmune disorders such as type 1 diabetes. Furthermore, autoimmune inflammatory stomach disease is sometimes linked to vitamin B12 deficiency.
Older adults are at a high risk of suffering inflammatory stomach diseases. This is because the stomach lining gradually becomes thin with age. Also, older people have increased chances of having h.pylori infection and other autoimmune conditions that trigger stomach inflammation.
Other risks factors that increase the chances of developing inflammatory stomach diseases include;
- Use of cocaine
- Use of tobacco
- Stress triggered by certain illness, surgery, or a severe injury
- Viral infections
Signs and Symptoms of Inflammatory Stomach Diseases
The signs and symptoms of inflammatory stomach diseases can vary from one person to another. However, the most common symptoms that might indicate the condition include;
- Stomach pain or upsets and discomfort
- Nausea and vomiting
- Black, tarry stool
- Appetite loss
- Feeling full even after eating a small quantity of food
- Unexplainable weight loss
- Stomach ulcers
- Vomiting blood
Complications of Inflammatory Stomach Diseases
If not addressed on time, inflammatory stomach condition can result in severe health problems, including;
Anemia: Sometimes, h.pylori can trigger inflammatory stomach diseases associated with bleeding. This eventually reduces red blood counts, causing anemia.
Pernicious anemia: Autoimmune stomach inflammatory condition can interfere with the normal vitamin B12 absorption process in the body. This means that you are at risk of developing pernicious anemia if your body doesn’t receive enough vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 helps produce healthy red blood cells.
Stomach cancer: Stomach inflammatory conditions caused by autoimmune disease and h.pylori can result in stomach lining growths. Such growths can increase the risk of developing stomach cancer.
Peritonitis: A person with an inflammatory stomach condition can suffer severe stomach ulcers or sores in the stomach. This type of ulcer can break through the stomach wall, spilling stomach content into the abdomen. If this happens, it causes rupture where bacteria spread to other parts, causing a chronic infection referred to as peritonitis or bacterial translocation. At times, it can result in an extensive inflammation called sepsis, which can be highly fatal.
Diagnosing Inflammatory Stomach Diseases
Through physical examination and analyzing medical history, the doctor can easily identify an inflammatory stomach condition. However, to find out the actual cause of the disease, one or more tests might be necessary. Some of the tests include;
- H.pylori test
The aim of the h.pylori test is to determine if there is a presence of bacterium H. pylori in the system. Furthermore, the type of test to undergo usually depends on the overall health state and underlying symptoms.
- Breath test
When conducting an h.pylori test, the doctor can ask you to swallow a capsule or liquid with urea. Urea is typically a harmless radioactive substance. After that, you will breathe out into a balloon-like bag. Normally, h.pylori bacteria transform urea into carbon dioxide. Therefore, there is a presence of the bacteria; then the results will illustrate an increase in carbon dioxide.
This refers to the use of an endoscope (a flexible tube equipped with a lens) to check and analyze the upper digestive system. The procedure involves passing the endoscope down through the throat into the esophagus, stomach, and small intestine. The doctor can then use the endoscope to check for signs of inflammation.
- Blood tests
Doctors can recommend a blood test to check for antibodies that helps fight h.pylori bacteria. They can also conduct another blood test to diagnose anemia since it develops due to insufficient red blood cells. At times, it can be due to low levels of certain vitamins; hence you may be required to take dietary supplements.
- Stool test
Doctors use this test to check for the presence of h.pylori bacteria in the stool. A small stool sample is collected and taken to a laboratory for more tests. A similar test can also be done to check for blood in your stool. If you have bleeding or blood traces in the stool, then it could indicate inflammatory stomach disease.
- X-ray of the upper gastrointestinal tract
Doctors use a series of x-rays to generate pictures of the esophagus, stomach, or small intestine and check for abnormalities. Sometimes, the doctor can ask you to swallow a white metal-like liquid that contains barium to coat your digestive system. This makes it easier for them to view stomach ulcers.
Treatment Options for Inflammatory Stomach Diseases
The treatment alternatives for inflammatory stomach diseases usually depend on the underlying cause. Therefore, based on the diagnostic results, the doctor can recommend the following;
To address h. pylori in the digestive system, the doctor can recommend a combination of antibiotics medication. It can include Biaxin, Amoxil, and augmentin, or Flagyl, to help destroy the bacteria. For better results, always ensure that you take the whole antibiotic prescription according to the doctor’s instructions.
- Proton pump inhibitors
Proton pump inhibitors aim to reduce stomach acid by limiting the activities of some parts of cells that generate acid. Proton pump inhibitors medication comprises prescription and over-the-counter drugs such as Aciphex, Dexilant, Nexium, Prilosec, Protonix, and Prevacid.
Sometimes, the doctor can prescribe antacids depending on your health condition. These drugs help neutralize the already existing stomach acid and give you quick pain relief. However, it carries a few side effects, including diarrhea or constipation. This depends on the major ingredients of the drug.
- Acid reducing drugs
Acid-reducing drugs are also known as acid blockers. The purpose of these medications is to help minimize the amount of acid that gets into your digestive tract. This eventually relieves stomach pain and enhances healing. Doctors can prescribe acid blockers and are also available over-the-counter. They include Axid AR, Pepcid, and Tagamet HB.
Preventing Inflammatory Stomach Diseases
An H. pylori bacterium is one of the leading causes of stomach inflammatory diseases. However, most people are not always aware that they are infected; hence one can easily transmit the bacteria. Practicing good hygiene, including cleaning hands regularly, can thus help reduce the risk of infection.
Furthermore, you can reduce inflammatory stomach-related conditions such as heartburn and indigestion through certain preventive measures. They include;
- Avoid consuming fatty, fried, spicy, or acidic foods.
- Avoid lying down for two to three hours after eating.
- Avoiding NSAIDs.
- Consuming a smaller amount of food throughout the day.
- Finding effective ways to manage stress
- Reducing alcohol consumption.
- Reducing intake of caffeine
Inflammatory stomach diseases are also known as gastritis. It’s an irritation, erosion, and inflammation of the stomach lining, which can occur gradually (chronic condition) or suddenly (acute). The leading cause of such conditions is a bacterial infection known as h.pylori. However, frequent use of pain relievers and excessive consumption of alcohol can also trigger inflammation.
CloudHospital is determined to helping patients with inflammatory stomach diseases and other related health conditions. It works with several professional medical experts who specialize in diagnosing, treating, and managing such diseases. What’s more, they can help you by recommending effective measures of preventing the illness.