Diagnosis for stomach inflammation and treatment options for gastritis
If you have symptoms of an inflamed stomach and want to seek diagnosis and eventual treatment options for gastritis, then go to a family doctor.
You can also consult a gastroenterologist or functional doctor with your suspicions. These physicians have the expertise and methodology to identify an infection.
Tell the doctor in detail about your symptoms, when they occur and about their severity. A symptom diary can also help, because the doctor then gets a good overview of the days and after what triggers an acute gastritis flare. If the gastritis is chronic, the diary is unnecessary.
If the doctor also suspects gastritis, there are now three diagnostic options.
Urease breath test
In the section on Helicobacter pylori, in our previous article, you learned that this bacterium is behind most cases of gastritis.
It protects itself against stomach acid with the enzyme urease, among other things. This enzyme splits urea into ammonia (basic) and CO2.
In the urease breath test, the physician gives you water to drink with labeled urea. After about half an hour, it should be possible to measure marked CO2 and ammonia in the breathing air. Then the doctor knows that Helicobacter is in your stomach.
The next step is the following.
If there is inflammation of the gastric mucosa and infection of the stomach cells by Helicobacter pylori, antibodies (immune proteins) against Helicobacter pylori should be detectable in your blood. Most of these antibodies are only present in acute gastritis.
However, the antibody test is not as effective as a gastroscopy.
Similar to colonoscopy, the doctor inserts a probe into the stomach through the mouth and esophagus. On an empty stomach, the doctor then sees what your stomach looks like through a camera. He can, then, immediately recognize gastritis or existing stomach ulcers.
Your physician will not perform a gastroscopy until he is certain of the presence of Helicobacter in your stomach. A gastroscopy provides absolute clarity about gastritis.
Antibody tests can then further help to exclude autoimmune gastritis. If the immune system attacks the stomach cells and triggers gastritis in this way, the doctor can, in most cases, detect specific defense proteins accordingly.
Autoimmune gastritis (type A) is rare and so we concentrate on the 95% of all gastritis cases: type B and C. Here, the central problems are the acidified stomach and Helicobacter pylori.
Treatment for gastritis
Treatments for type A, B and C gastritis look similar. Basically, the problem is that the mucus layer is either perforated or too thin and gastric acid hits the cells.
It is also the case with type-A gastritis that the stomach cells become inflamed, here too gastric acid hits the cells and aggravates the process.
The central starting points of the treatment are combating Helicobacter pylori infection and reducing gastric acidity.
The symptoms of gastritis should be suppressed so that the stomach has enough time to heal itself.
It is clear that this method is not sustainable. However, it is important not to waste time on gastritis. It is of the essence to suppress the symptoms. If this is the case, you should heal the stomach with a suitable diet and home remedies (afterward).
Your doctor must address Inflammation, stomach acid and infection first
The usual conventional medical procedures for gastritis types A, B and C follow. These are necessary to stop the inflammation of the mucous membrane immediately and to keep the risk of secondary diseases, up to stomach cancer, as low as possible.
Do not take the drugs longer than necessary. Talk to the doctor about this and start at the same time with the same home remedies and countermeasures against gastritis.
Type A: combination therapy of proton pump inhibitors (inhibit the formation of stomach acid), H2-antihistamines (ranitidine, also inhibits the formation of stomach acid), antacids (neutralize the stomach acid) and vitamin B12 (to compensate for the deficiency).
Gastritis Type B: Treatment including proton pump inhibitors and two antibiotics (the combination of clarithromycin and amoxicillin has proven effective).
Type C: Therapy consisting of acid blockers (proton pump inhibitors), H2 antihistamines (ranitidine), for the alleviation of the inflammation.
Physicians usually do not add pain relievers, such as aspirin, as this would make the symptoms even worse.
This is the basic therapy for the three most important types of gastritis. The therapies mentioned have proven themselves over the years and give you and your stomach enough time to heal.
However, you should accelerate this healing process at all costs to avoid a new infection and to increase the success of the therapy.
Please do not underestimate the efficiency of therapy and nutrition equally in gastritis. Gastritis can be very bad and you should use any help to get rid of gastritis or stomach ulcer as soon as possible.
What happens if you start therapy too late and do not adjust the diet?
Gastritis – consequences and prognosis
Gastritis is a large area of inflammation in the stomach, usually, there are many small areas of inflammation side by side. What happens if the therapy comes too late and no adjustment of the diet occurs?
Small ulcers can develop into large ulcers. This is the case when the infection of the stomach cells by Helicobacter pylori spreads further and the hole in the mucus layer grows larger.
Then, big areas of gastric acid meet gastric cells, but at the same time, the number of infected gastric cells increases sharply.
That looks a lot worse than gastritis. Stomach ulcers are not to be trifled with. Stomach ulcers arise from gastritis if no timely intervention takes place or if therapy and nutrition change too late.
About 3% of all stomach ulcers develop into stomach cancer. Three percent is quite a lot considering how many people get gastric ulcers year after year, and how many get gastritis in their lifetime.
Stomach cancer is the third deadliest cancer in the world, and around 800,000 people worldwide die from it annually.
The malignant disease often gets diagnosed late, and only a surgically procedure can removed the cancerous growth with great difficulty.
To prevent this from happening, gastritis, one must treat and combat the initial stage of stomach cancer immediately at all costs.
That is why humanity relies so heavily on the combination of conventional medicine and naturopathy.
One needs the other in the treatment of such diseases. Both areas have great effectiveness with amazing test results, thus, both together, offer you the best healing opportunities.
Read more about nutrition and home remedies for gastritis in our upcoming article.
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