Because Chronic, Erosive Gastritis may cause symptoms similar to other gastrointestinal disorders, a full medical history must be known before an effective treatment can be determined. Most cases are usually treated with acid neutralizing medications (antacids) and H2 blocker drugs such as Zantac (ranitidine) or Tagamet (cimetidine). Dietary changes and avoiding the irritating causes such as stomach irritating drugs or stressful situations are also helpful in eliminating the symptoms of Chronic, Erosive Gastritis. Inflammation can be caused by acid from the stomach or by infection. The most common cause of infection is the bacteria Helicobacter pylori (also known as just H. pylori).
Depending on the many factors that affect the stomach lining, gastritis symptoms may flare-up from time to time. Overall, gastritis is a common ailment that responds well to simple treatments. Symptoms of gastritis do not always correspond to the extent of physical changes in the lining of the stomach. Gastritis is an inflammation or irritation of the lining of the stomach.
It produces inflammation via the production of a number of toxins and enzymes. The intense inflammation can result in the loss of gastric glands responsible for the production of acid.
Gastritis may be caused by many factors including infection, alcohol, particular medications and some allergic and immune conditions. If left untreated, gastritis can lead to stomach ulcers and bleeding. While rare, it can also increase the risk of stomach cancer. For milder gastritis, removing the offending agent and using drugs to reduce gastric acidity (see Drug Treatment of Gastric Acidity) to limit further injury and promote healing may be all that is required.
For now, until more data becomes available, it seems reasonable that if a patient with GERD cannot be taken off acid suppressing drugs after two to three years (because of persistent symptoms), an endoscopy should be done to see if Barrett’s esophagus is present. One endoscopy per lifetime in patients with GERD may be sufficient to screen for Barrett’s.
Signs and Symptoms
At present, all patients with Barrett’s esophagus, from the surveillance point of view, are treated in the same manner. The availability of biomarkers would separate (stratify) Barrett’s patients based on their risk for cancer. Such stratification would allow doctors to do surveillance endoscopy and biopsies more frequently in the minority of patients who are at greater risk of cancer and less frequently in those predicted to have a lower risk of cancer.
Barium coats the lining of the esophagus and stomach and makes the organs visible. These images can help identify narrowing of the esophagus, other structural changes, a hiatal hernia, tumors or other abnormalities that could be causing symptoms. Esophagitis is inflammation that damages the lining of the esophagus. An endoscope – a long, flexible tube equipped with a camera – may be used to see inside your esophagus. This endoscopic image of eosinophilic esophagitis shows rings of abnormal tissue (esophageal rings) resulting from chronic inflammation.
Adenocarcinoma is the most common variant in the U.S. Barrettâ€™s esophagus is the most important risk factor for the development of adenocarcinoma of the esophagus. Patients with Barrettâ€™s esophagus have a much higher risk of developing esophageal adenocarcinoma compared to those without Barrettâ€™s esophagus. This risk has been estimated to be a 30-fold increase over the general population.