Gastritis: treatment and prevention

Gastritis is associated with inflammatory swelling of the gastric mucosa or even ulcerous mucosal damage. Although spontaneous healing of gastric ulcers is possible in many cases, treatment of gastritis is often necessary. Here we inform you about therapy and prevention.

Spontaneous healing possible

A certain percentage (up to 40 percent) of gastric and duodenal ulcers spontaneously regresses. The healing process seems to be promoted by a change in the psycho-vegetative constellation of the patient.

This assumption is also supported by scientific studies, according to which about 40 to 50 percent of patients are cured by placebo (no-drug sham). The efficacy of acid-binding drugs (antacids) barely exceeds the success rate of placebos.

Treatment - Acute gastritis

In acute gastritis, no treatment is often necessary. It usually heals relatively quickly even without therapy. The acute painful phase lasts about 24 hours. Because of this short period is usually dispensed with medication.

If external factors such as excessive alcohol consumption are the trigger, the patient is prescribed at least a 24-hour food intake. During this time, the gastric mucosa calms down and can recover. If the cause is to be seen in the medication intake, for example rheumatoid painkillers, the acute gastritis is treated with so-called proton pump inhibitors or prostaglandin derivatives.

Treatment - Chronic Gastritis: Type A & Type B

To treat the vitamin B12 anemia, the vitamin is injected. Since type A gastritis is associated with an increased risk of gastric cancer, a regular, annual endoscopic examination should be performed with the removal of tissue samples from the gastric mucosa (biopsy).

In type B gastritis (Helicobacter pylori infection) is aimed at eradicating the pathogen with drugs. This treatment is called eradication. Today's standard is the combination of antibiotics and proton pump inhibitors. Only with this combination treatment it is possible to directly combat the Helicobactor pylori pathogens. Targeted are used:

  • Proton pump inhibitors. They ensure reduction of gastric acid production.
  • antibiotics

All three medicines must be taken for at least seven days, otherwise the safe effect is not guaranteed. At the earliest after four weeks, a new gastroscopy is performed. Again, samples are taken from the stomach wall to check the therapeutic success. If the urease test is negative, the eradication treatment was successful.

Treatment - Chronic gastritis: Type-C

The most effective treatment of type C gastritis is the reduction of gastric acid production, so that the damage to the gastric mucosa can heal or not progress. For this purpose, especially the proton pump inhibitors are used today. If medicines are taken that are known to cause gastritis, they should be left for the duration of treatment, if possible.

As an additional treatment, the gastric emptying can be accelerated in the triggering of gastritis by bile fluids, so that the contact time of the bile fluids with the gastric mucosa is minimized. This can be achieved by the administration of certain medications called prokinetics.

Preventive measures

So that a gastritis does not even occur, it is necessary to follow the following advice:

  • Take care of your psychosocial health
  • Never take painkillers permanently and on your own prescription. Discuss dose and duration of painkillers with your doctor!
  • Excessive use of acid-promoting agents such as alcohol, coffee, tea, nicotine or citrus fruits is not advisable.
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