H. Pylori Gastritis Differences vs. Other Gastritis Types

H. Pylori Gastritis

In the stomachs of over half of the world’s population can be found H. Pylori, a normally non-problematic bacterium that is thought to be acquired via fecal matter contaminated food or water. Most of the time, it causes few, if any symptoms. And, when it does, they are typically similar to those caused from common indigestion.

Abdominal pain is one of the most common H. Pylori symptoms. And, unfortunately there are many things that can cause generalized abdominal pain. For instance, heartburn and gas can create abdominal discomfort. Nausea and vomiting can also be caused by H. Pylori and so can stools that appear darker in color. A loss of appetite and weight loss can occur in people who have an H. Pylori infection, and a full feeling – even after eating small meals – is quite common. But, many of these can be attributed simply to severe indigestion. One interesting symptom that can occur is H. Pylori gastritis.

In general, gastritis refers simply to inflammation of the stomach’s lining. Stomach pain and an upset stomach are the most common symptoms of gastritis. But indigestion, nausea and vomiting can also occur. In some cases of severe indigestion resulting from gastritis, vomiting that is streaked with blood or greenish or yellowish hues may be encountered, and this can directly be attributed to how severe the inflammation is. In most cases, gastritis is acute in nature, occurring randomly though infrequently.

Conversely, H. Pylori gastritis typically is more chronic in nature. This may be due to the fact that the condition is caused by a bacterium abundance that often requires the use of antibiotics to quell. Belching and regurgitation are common symptoms of H. Pylori gastritis and so is heartburn or acid reflux, according to HopkinsChildrens.org. Stomach bloating may also occur and a feeling of hunger even a short time after meals is not uncommon. The pain associated with gastritis caused by the bacterium can come and go and may be dull in nature, as opposed to when it is caused by other factors.

While the symptoms between generalize gastritis and the form attributed to an H. Pylori infection may differ somewhat, their treatment is markedly similar. With the exception of antibiotics being added in for the treatment of H. Pylori gastritis, many of the same medications are used to treat the symptoms of the condition. Ranitidine is one such medication and it is used in treatment for gastritis regularly, regardless of cause. It is the active ingredient in many common medication options that are used to reduce the amount of acid being produced in the stomach. Wikipedia notes that it is also used in the treatment of peptic ulcer disease and for the relief of gastric ulcer symptoms, and for the same purpose. However, it is not uncommon for proton pump inhibitors such as Prilosec and Protonix to be substituted for the same end result.

H. Pylori gastritis varies little from other commonplace causes of the inflammation based malady. However, given its more chronic nature as well as its selective treatment options that include antibiotics which are not required in the treatment of other forms, there are some notable differences. One in particular is the long term effects that can result from leaving an active H. Pylori infection untreated. Because of its role in the formation of other gastrointestinal troubles such as ulcers, as noted by UpToDate.com, it is important to identify whether or not gastritis is being caused from the bacteria. Paying attention to the duration, frequency and subtle symptom variation can make this easier. If H. Pylori gastritis is suspected, medical intervention early on can prevent the formation of more sinister digestive system developments like ulcers and, more rarely, stomach cancer. Testing can be initiated to confirm the diagnosis and therefore to develop a proper treatment plan that incorporates both a means to reduce the bacteria that is causing symptoms as well as the acid that is exacerbating them.