Gastritis occurs when the lining of the stomach becomes inflamed or irritated and may also refer to the erosion of the lining. Erythematous occurs when there is redness of the skin because of dilation of blood vessels. In some cases, it is a normal response due to inflammation and can hasten healing. However, cases of severe blood vessel dilation can weaken and in time rupture, causing bleeding in the area.
Types and Causes
Gastritis can either be acute or chronic. Acute gastritis is short term and is usually for less than six months and is often caused by ingestion of food products that irritate and erode gastric mucosa, including alcohol or drugs. Chronic gastritis is often autoimmune in origin, but can also be caused because of stress, chronic ulcers or cancerous lesions and occur for more than six months. Infection from Helicobacter pylori, which is a bacteria in the lining, is a common culprit of gastritis.
Non-invasive procedures include ultrasonography, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and CAT scan (computed axial tomography). Invasive procedures like endoscopic study can clearly visualise the redness in erythematous gastritis; signs of developing lesions and bleeding can be seen with this procedure. H. pylori infections can be determined via urea breath test.
Signs and Symptoms
Anorexia will follow after gastritis. It is a normal response of the body to minimise damage to the stomach if gastric acid is continuously secreted because of eating. Nausea and vomiting can also occur if food is forcibly introduced to the gastrointestinal tract. There can also be abdominal cramping, diarrhoea and fever. In severe cases, painless gastrointestinal bleeding can occur if there in perforation in the mucosal lining or ruptured blood vessels.
Depending on the actual cause of gastritis, interventions are different in every case. Medical management involves diet, fluid and multi-drug therapy. A liquid or bland diet can decrease the stress on the stomach in digestion. Antibiotics are also indicated if it is caused by an infection. Antacids, proton pump inhibitors and histamine blockers in drug therapy aid gastric healing by decreasing the acidity of the stomach, thus making the environment suitable for gastric mucosal regeneration. Because of its hyperacidic effect on the stomach, alcohol consumption should be stopped. Fluid replacement is also a must if dehydration occurs due to anorexia, excessive vomiting and dehydration. Surgery as a last choice is performed if tissue death or severe bleeding has occurred. Health teachings about the disease can be of great help for the patient. It improves disease prognosis and decreases possible recurrence.
Gastritis can strike anyone at any time. Knowledge of the condition can save money, time and lives. Signs and symptoms should not be ignored. A healthy diet and lifestyle is of utmost importance. Including exercise and a regular visit to the physician, management and treatment of the diseases is very possible.
- "Brunner and Suddarth's Textbook of Medical-Surgical Nursing 10th edition;" MaryJo Boyer; 2003
- "Medical Surgical Nursing 3rd edition;" LeMone and Burke; 2003