All about gastritis and its three different types
Gastritis is the medical term for inflammation of the gastric mucosa. The stomach’s lining includes a layer of mucus in all areas.
The mucus layer may not offer enough protection and/or bacteria may infect the stomach cells in the mucus layer.
The main reason behind this ailment is a small bacterium called Helicobacter pylori, and you’ll learn more about that in a moment.
But that’s gastritis in a simple phrase: an inflammation of the stomach lining.
However, doctors make a distinction between three different types of stomach inflammation.
The three types of gastritis
This is an autoimmune reaction. Immune cells incorrectly attack the stomach cells. Unfortunately, this process is still poorly researched.
Thus, it is not known whether a previous infection of these cells is the cause of the autoimmune reaction or something else.
This inflammation comes from an infection with the Helicobacter pylori bacterium. More about this little parasite follows below.
Chronic gastritis caused by medication, stress, antibiotics or mold. This leads to severe acidification of the stomach, damage to the mucus layer and, in the worst case, to a hole in the mucus layer.
As you can see, the cause of the inflammation can come from inside (immune cells, autoimmune reactions), from pathogens (Helicobacter pylori) or from environmental factors such as mold, stress and medication.
And you can also see that one cannot prevent an autoimmune reaction and Helicobacter pylori infection.
Now that we clarified the term gastritis and what is behind it, we come to the symptoms.
Symptoms of acute gastritis
Below are the characteristic symptoms of gastritis.
The stomach is about two fingers’ width under the left breast. If this area hurts, there may be an inflammation of the stomach present.
This pain gets worse after eating. Because, of course, a sensitive and inflamed or irritable stomach reacts with a pain signal to additional stimuli, in this case, food.
Loss of appetite
The stomach not only hurts, but it also sends signals to the brain via the vagus nerve, thus, preventing hunger and appetite. It is a protective reaction so that the stomach can heal and in the meantime is not burdened with food.
Compared to other gastrointestinal problems, such as irritable bowel syndrome, stomach symptoms are actually limited to these two.
They are clearly related to the stomach. If you continue to experience these issues or symptoms, you should see a doctor so that he can make a diagnosis.
To understand how diagnosis and treatment of gastritis work, please, read the article linked below.
Now let’s focus on the trigger for gastric inflammation: the small pest Helicobacter pylori, which I already announced a few times.
A small bacterium called Helicobacter pylori lives in 50% of all stomachs. This bacterium has specialized in survival in mammalian stomachs in the course of evolution.
Basically, this bacterium is not a problem in the stomach if we do not irritate it.
So just because you have Helicobacter pylori in your stomach, it is not a reason for antibiotic therapy. The occurrence in America is too high for that.
Incidentally, Helicobacter infection occurs through contact with “infected” people, i.e. friends, family and acquaintances. Pets (cats) and unwashed food are also common reasons for the spread of gastritis.
Helicobacter pylori has learned to protect itself against stomach acid. It produces two enzymes (urease and carbonic anhydrase) that give it a basic shell. It also simply wards off the acid.
Helicobacter only becomes problematic when it multiplies too much. Because like a corkscrew, it then screws through the stomach lining.
If there is too much Helicobacter in one place, holes will appear in the mucus layer (similar to Leaky Gut Syndrome).
If the bacteria reach the stomach cells, they infect these cells. Then there is not only a massive inflammation from the infection, but also from the impact of gastric acid on the stomach cells.
That mustn’t happen!
Helicobacter typically causes type B gastritis, and this inflammatory reaction can occur in many small areas or in a larger area (gastric ulcer). However, studies show that Helicobacter is also behind most Type C gastritis cases.
Only when there is an acute stomach inflammation, or worse, is it time to do something about Helicobacter. 15 to 20% of all people infected with Helicobacter have gastritis in the course of their life. Then it’s time to act.
Is gastritis contagious?
Type A gastritis is an autoimmune disease and is not contagious because the problem is in the immune system.
In most cases, type B (always) and C (common) gastritis is caused by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori. While this bacterium is contagious, gastritis is not.
Because only every fifth to sixth infected person develops gastritis. Just because someone has acute gastritis doesn’t mean the inflammation is contagious.
There is no use in getting out of hell to get away from Helicobacter infected people, so as not to get infected.
Because: In most cases, you do not know whether you are not already infected with Helicobacter, nor does your counterpart know.
Gastritis is not contagious – if you are worried about gastritis, you should get a clear overview of the causes and risk factors of gastritis in my next article.
After you read about the symptoms and the central cause of gastritis, we will go one step further. Tomorrow, we will discuss what happens when you suspect gastritis and are now seeing a doctor to make a possible diagnosis.
Be so kind and let me know in a comment below how you are contributing to avoid gastritis. Do you use a special remedy, keep a special diet and lifestyle?
Whatever it may be, please, share your tips with us, so others can improve their health, as well.
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