Gastritis commonly occurs as an acute condition, and frequently follows dietetic indiscretions. This may include the overuse of highly seasoned foods and condiments, such as pepper and sauces. Also, excessive alcohol intake is perhaps one of the most common causes in today’s society. Cigarette smoking will also cause or aggravate it.
The stomach lining becomes inflamed and sensitive, due to the irritation. Therefore, general abdominal discomfort, probably with loss of appetite, general dyspepsia, a feeling of fullness, heartburn and perhaps vomiting will take place. Frequently this will give symptomatic relief. If germs gain entry and are not killed by the powerful gastric acids, a low-grade infection may occur, and in due course may give rise to loose bowel actions.
Being sensible in the foods that are eaten and the beverages ingested will often prevent this uncomfortable condition in the first place. In any case, a 24- 48 hour fast is frequently curative. Vomiting will often bring considerable relief. Thereafter, exhibiting commonsense in regard to alcoholic drinks and smoking will do much to prevent recurrences. Antacids may give some benefit and alginic acid compound may also prove helpful. Foods high in fat may aggravate for awhile rather than assist.
Chronic gastritis is a different situation, and is often due to a reduction in the lining of the stomach. As this progresses, an atrophic gastritis may occur, in which the stomach secretions are markedly reduced, and digestion may be impaired. The latter condition is also associated with pernicious anemia.