Atrophic gastritis is a condition in which the mucous lining of the stomach is inflamed and the tissue begins to be destroyed. When the gastric tissue is destroyed, it is replaced by fibrous and intestinal tissue, which then limits the stomach's secretion of substances such as pepsin and hydrochloric acid. When this occurs, people will develop stomach and digestive issues. In some cases, atrophic gastritis is an autoimmune disorder. But in other cases the condition can be brought on by environmental factors, including a certain type of infection. As with many types of gastritis, atrophic gastritis often develops with few or no symptoms.
One symptom of atrophic gastritis is indigestion, acid reflux or gastro-oseophageal reflux disease. These conditions are typically characterised by pain in the upper abdomen, bloating and more frequent belching.
Nausea and sometimes vomiting can be a sign of atrophic gastritis. Nausea is more commonly a symptom of other types of gastritis, but atrophic gastritis patients sometimes experience the condition as well.
Lack of Appetite
Some people with atrophic gastritis may notice that their appetite has diminished. In some cases, this lack of appetite may develop because of other common symptoms, such as nausea and vomiting, that make eating less desirable.
Some atrophic gastritis patients may experience weight loss as a result of the condition. Again, in many cases this weight loss may be attributable to other signs and symptoms, such as nausea and vomiting and lack of appetite.
Gastritis can typically be diagnosed based on a physical exam and asking a patient about her symptoms. To determine what type of gastritis a person is suffering from, a doctor may order some diagnostic tests. A common test in the diagnosis is an endoscopy, in which the stomach lining can be seen when a flexible tube is placed in the stomach. Doctors may also order a biopsy of the stomach tissue to get a closer examination.
Atrophic gastritis has no cure, but several drugs are available to alleviate symptoms, including antacids, proton pump inhibitors and histamine-2 blockers. And because atrophic gastritis will eventually lead to an vitamin B12 deficiency, patients will require injections.