Gastritis/Ulcers

Gastritis is a term used for inflammation of the stomach. Erosions occur when a shallow burn develops. Ulcers are larger and deeper burns that look like craters. Ulcers can be caused by a variety of conditions, typically Helicobacter pylori (a bacteria we call HP) and NSAIDs (aspirin- like drugs). Other less common causes include: cancer, stress, alcohol, and caustic medications (like potassium). The diagnosis is best made by endoscopy, but barium or blood tests can add information. The treatment for gastritis is simple: stop any causative medications, treat the HP in stomach if present, and use acid blocking medication to speed the healing (like proton pump inhibitors). If bleeding is brisk during endoscopy, ulcers can be cauterized with electricity, injected with medication or even clipped to stop arteries from bleeding—all through the scope.

Digestive Health Tips From Our Staff

Heartburn: If you are experiencing heartburn, “do not discount the need for an upper GI endoscopy to rule out abnormal pathology.”

 

Heartburn is a common affliction for many people, but if left untreated it can lead to complications such as Barrett’s Esophagus, which is a precursor to esophageal cancer.