Gastritis Definition

Gastritis is a gastrointestinal condition that is marked by inflammation or irritation of the mucosa or stomach lining. It often leads to vomiting, nausea, stomach tenderness and pain.

Types of Gastritis

Though symptoms may be similar gastritis has actually two types: acute gastritis and chronic gastritis. Acute gastritis happens when inflammation of the mucosa develops suddenly.  When a person has experienced this condition for a long time or has developed it gradually or and comes and goes over time, his gastritis is considered chronic gastritis.

Gastritis can also be differentiated at to its cause or to its location. It can be caused by external factors like fungus, parasite, virus or bacteria or it can affect a certain location of the stomach lining like the pylorus (lower part), body (middle part) or cardia (upper part).

Acute gastritis is also known as stress gastritis. It can come about due to the following:

Injury (as in surgery)
Infection
Severe stress
Taking in a poison or a corrosive substance
Medications like NSAIDS (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
Alcohol intake

Acute gastritis if not treated properly and if it’s caused by drugs, alcohol or stress can turn into a chronic problem (chronic or erosive gastritis). Chronic gastritis is identified by the erosion and inflammation of the stomach lining. People tend to develop acute gastritis more compared to chronic gastritis.

Chronic gastritis has three forms:

Type A chronic gastritis – This occurs usually in the body of the stomach. It often arises due to an autoimmune system disorder like vitamin B12 deficiency (also called pernicious anemia).
Type B chronic gastritis – This is the most commonly occurring type of chronic gastritis. It occurs usually in the pylorus or lower part of the stomach. Type B chronic gastritis also usually comes about due to H. pylori (Helicobacter pylori) infection.
Type AB gastritis – As seen in its name this type of chronic gastritis is a combination of the Types A and B and forms in the pylorus as well as in the stomach body.  It can also be associated to an H. pylori infection.

Gastritis Incidence and Prevalence

Gastritis can affect all types of people and is a very common gastrointestinal (GI) problem. It is diagnosed in about 10% of patients who are in the emergency room requesting treatment for their stomach pain.

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