Chronic gastritis is, along with the acute gastritis, one of the two categories of gastritis and is characterized by the persistence of the symptoms and the evolution of the disease. Gastritis is a medical condition that is defined by inflammation of the gastric mucosa of the stomach. The main cause of this disease is the infection with Helicobacter Pylori bacteria, often contracted in childhood.
Gastritis is an acute or chronic inflammation of the gastric mucosa. Therefore, it is divided into 2 categories:
- acute - symptomatology that manifests itself in the short term and which heals quickly;
- chronic - persistent symptomatology that can lead to serious complications - atrophy of the gastric mucosa.
What are the causes of chronic gastritis?
Unlike acute gastritis, which is often caused by poor nutrition, chronic eating occurs as a result of infection with Helicobacter Pylori bacteria. Chronic gastritis occurs after prolonged irritation of the gastric mucosa.
This bacterium is naturally found in the stomach of any person. It invades the baby's stomach and survives among the mucosal layers that cover the epithelial gastric surface or in the upper portions of the gastric foveae. Once this bacterium stabilizes in the stomach tissues, there is an intense inflammatory response from the affected tissues. Chronic gastritis is more common in adults, but children are not exempt from this uncomfortable disease.
There are also some diseases that can lead to the onset of chronic gastritis:
- pernicious anemia;
- autoimmune diseases;
- chronic biliary reflux etc.
Chronic gastritis can also be triggered either by intense administration of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or by surgery.
What are the symptoms?
Chronic gastritis has the same manifestations as acute. The most common complaints of children are:
- upper abdominal pain;
- frequent eruptions;
- stomach burns;
- feeling of fullness;
- sour taste in mouth etc.
In severe cases stomach bleeding, vomiting with traces of blood or very dark, almost black stools may occur. Chronic gastritis requires specialized medical care, but if the symptoms worsen it is important to immediately present with the child to the doctor.
How is chronic gastritis treated?
Chronic gastritis is diagnosed on the basis of symptoms, but also by laboratory analysis of the stool, blood samples and endoscopy. After the diagnosis is confirmed, the doctor recommends a series of therapeutic measures that involve medication and changes in diet and lifestyle.
The excess acid in the stomach due to chronic gastritis irritates the gastric mucosa very strongly. To alleviate this symptom, doctors often recommend antacids and H2 blockers (cimetidine or ranitidine) to reduce gastric acid production. Antibiotics and proton pump inhibitors are given to fight infection. Proton inhibitors also help balance gastric acid production.
Diet is another essential aspect of recovery from chronic gastritis. It should be composed only of foods that do not cause irritation to the stomach. These include those high in fiber - whole grains, dried beans, fresh fruits and vegetables. Children can also eat low fat dairy products without problems.
Foods to be avoided in chronic gastritis are spicy, very fatty and tomato based, but also chocolate and sugar products that act as stomach irritants.
Lifestyle change is an extremely important therapeutic measure, especially in adults. But children who are accustomed to drinking soft drinks, drinking coffee or other stomach irritant drinks should avoid them.
If the baby is under treatment with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, it is advisable to talk to the doctor to change his or her medicines with some less irritating ones. And stress can aggravate gastritis, so make sure your baby is relaxed and not overloaded.
Tags Gastrita children