Gastritis Risk Factors and Causes

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The risk factors that can cause a person to be more susceptible to gastritis can involve autoimmune disease, reflux of bile to stomach, old age, stress, alcohol abuse, regular use of painkilling medicines, bacterial infection (Helicobacter pylori), and other medical conditions.

Autoimmune Disease
When you have an autoimmune problem, your body’s defense mechanism fights your own body particularly by working against your cells that eventually might lead to a particular type of gastritis called autoimmune gastritis. People suffering from specific autoimmune diseases like pernicious anemia or Hashimoto’s disease are highly prone to developing gastritis.

Reflux of Bile to Stomach
Stomach acid (bile) can go back to the esophagus due to a condition in the lower gastric sphincter (the sphincter that prevents stomach bile from flowing back to the esophagus) or due to a gastrointestinal surgical procedure. These two situations can cause chronic gastritis.

Old Age
Seniors (people 60 years and older) are at high risk for acquiring gastritis. This is so because these individuals are more prone to Helicobacter pylori infection and due to the weak condition of their body caused by wear and tear their body has undergone through the years.

Conditions that are quite distressful like burns, serious injury, major surgical procedure, etc. can precipitate the development of acute gastritis; when the stressful condition is taken away from the picture, the gastritis often goes away.

Alcohol Abuse
The abrasive nature of alcohol can damage the natural lining of the stomach when alcohol is taken in. This makes the lining vulnerable to irritation and inflammation and damage from digestive juices like hydrochloric acid in the stomach and other harmful agents. Excess and even regular alcohol consumption is a very typical reason for people getting gastritis.

Regular Use of Painkilling Medicines
Typical over the counter pain relieving medicines like ibuprofen and aspirin among others are harmful to the gastrointestinal tract when taken on a regular basis. Without competent medical advice and proper precaution, the daily intake of these medicines can cause problems in the GI tract like ulcer and gastritis. These drugs cause damage to the stomach’s natural protective mechanism that protect it from acids and other harmful substances which can lead to ulcer and gastritis. If you need to take these medicines on a regular basis, you need to take them on a full stomach.

Bacterial Infection
People infected with the Helicobacter pylori bacteria are at high risk for getting gastritis with the gastritis tending to be a chronic one. One interesting thing to note is that about half of all people in the world are infected with the H. pylori bacteria. This can clarify why gastritis is quite rampant all over the world. This bacterium can be disseminated through person to person contact. However, not all the people infected with the bacterium suffer from its complication that may include gastritis or peptic ulcer. Scientists do not know the reason why this is so.

 Key words:  Gastritis

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