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4 myths about gastritis
Everyone has a friend who always has abdominal pain and usually quickly associates that pain with the presence of gastritis, but did you know that this is a mistake?
Basically, gastritis is a histological diagnosis, what this means is that the cells of the stomach lining have to be evaluated to ensure the diagnosis and not just abdominal pain.
What is gastritis?
Gastritis in technical terms is the inflammation of the stomach, which is interpreted in many ways, because the causes are multiple.
Usually, this concept is used by both patients and health personnel to refer to gastrointestinal symptoms.
What happens in gastritis is that there is persistent damage to the muscle that lines the walls of the stomach. In addition, these injuries are related to infections, immunological diseases, among others.
How is gastritis classified?
There are several ways to classify gastritis, such as by chronology, histology, or anatomical distribution.
However, for practical purposes one of the simplest ways is according to your chronology. So it can be acute or chronic.
From the foregoing, various etiologies of gastritis can be established.
Mostly, they are due to infections, especially Helicobacter pylori infection. Other infectious gastritis can be.
Chronic gastritis is characterized by the presence of inflammatory cells in the stomach muscles.
On some occasions, this lesion to the mucosa can advance and cause destruction of the glands and metaplasia, therefore, it can be the beginning of gastric cancer.
Phases of chronic gastritis
The early stages or early phases of chronic gastritis is what is known as superficial gastritis. What can be seen histologically is limited mucosal edema.
Next, there is the phase of atrophic gastritis, this means that the lesion is deeper and has affected the glandular cells.
The last phase is gastric atrophy. At this stage there is already a total distortion of the gland structure.
Myths about gastritis
Around this term, several myths have arisen that are important to clarify. This way, you can make better decisions about what symptoms you may be experiencing.
Myth 1. Gastritis equals gastropathy
The truth is that no, gastritis is one thing and a different term is gastropathy.
You already know that gastritis is associated with acute or chronic inflammation of the stomach lining. Besides, it has multiple causes.
On the contrary, gastropathy is when there are few or no inflammatory cells in the mucosa and the cause is specific
In this sense, some gastropathies are gastropathy due to the consumption of non-steroidal analgesics, diabetic gastropathy, ischemic gastropathy, vascular gastropathy, among others.
Myth 2. Pain in the "pit of the stomach" is gastritis
If it is true that gastritis can cause pain or burning in the upper abdomen, but this is not exclusive to gastritis.
In addition, the context in which the pain occurs and whether the person suffers from another disease must be analyzed.
Other symptoms may be gastric fullness, belching, post-feeding heartburn.
Myth 3. A biopsy is necessary to diagnose gastritis
This is true. Remember that gastritis can be diagnosed through the analysis of the cells of the stomach lining.
The way to obtain a sample of the mucosa is through an upper digestive endoscopy, in order to have a tissue for biopsy. In this way, gastritis is confirmed.
Myth 4. Helicobacter pylori screening is necessary
Like the previous one announced, too, it is a truth and not a myth.
The reason for this is because gastritis has been associated in most cases with positive infection for Helicobacter pylori.
In turn, the importance lies in the fact that the presence of this microorganism has been linked to gastric cancer. So if the test is positive steps must be taken to eliminate it.
What is the treatment of gastritis?
The cause that generates gastritis must be treated, that is, if the gastritis is due to the Helicobacter pylori bacteria, the infection must be treated.
On the other hand, in some cases the cause is not clear, so the treatment must be to alleviate the symptoms.
From this it follows, the use of medications such as omeprazole, ranitidine, antacids, among others.
Food recommendations in gastritis
When the diagnosis is already established or you are still under study, it is advisable to follow a series of tips at the time of feeding.
The initial recommendation is that you can go to a specialist in the field, the nutritionist.
At the same time, it is not about following generic diets that friends or acquaintances have used, since each organism is different and they do not need the same requirements.
Of course, the advice is that you lean towards a diet rich in natural foods, rather than processed ones. Some of the options may be.
Vegetables and legumes. Make sure the vegetables are cooked rather than raw.
White meat such as chicken or fish
On the other hand, it is good that you reduce or eliminate the consumption of sodas, caffeinated drinks and alcoholic beverages. Another food group that you should avoid are.
Citrus fruits and drinks
Very spicy or spicy food
Sauces like mustard
Likewise, it is good that you can eat several meals a day, these do not have to be large portions, but small ones. Also, set eating times and try to stick to them.
Finally, do not deliberately take medication, it is best to see your doctor, especially if you do not notice improvement in symptoms. Remember the importance of screening for Helicobacter pylori.