Gastritis, clinically known as dyspepsia, is an inflammatory process of the stomach generally caused by poor eating habits, Helicobacter pylori infection, stress states, medications, among others. This condition can seriously affect the patient’s quality of life depending on the severity of each condition. On this occasion, Dr. Eduardo Bravo, gastroenterologist at Clinica Ricardo Palma, Plaza Lima Sur branch, will give us more information on the subject.
There are several causes of gastritis, among which the following stand out:
- Helicobacter pylori infection: This bacterium is the main cause of ulcer disease in the country, and is also a causal factor for gastric cancer.
- Frequent use of certain medications: patients taking multiple medicines are at risk of gastritis, especially if they consume corticosteroids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or antibiotics.
- Inadequate lifestyle: Having a copious dinner late at night, excess flour, refined sugars, low fiber intake, being overweight, poor stress management, etc.
The main symptoms are:
- Burning/pain in the upper abdomen
- Fast fullness when eating food
- Frequent belching
- Abdominal distension
It is important to perform endoscopy studies in people over 40 years of age to rule out other causes of digestive discomfort such as peptic ulcer, gastric polyps, Helicobacter pylori infection or gastric cancer. In younger people and without warning signs (bleeding, significant weight loss, family history of gastric cancer) the search for helicobacter bacteria can be done through breath tests or stool antigens.
First of all, it is essential to identify the main factors mentioned above in order to eliminate them as much as possible. On the other hand, within the recommended medications, proton pump inhibitors such as: omeprazole, lansoprazole, pantoprazole, esomeprazole, among others, are very useful.
Our specialist recommends following a healthy lifestyle, as this is the measure to take that will have the greatest impact on health. In addition, we must consume food in places that have all biosecurity measures, as well as avoid self-medication.
Dr. Eduardo Bravo
Gastroenterologist at Clinica Ricardo Palma – Plaza Lima Sur branch