Diseases of the stomach
Diseases of the stomach
We encounter with stomach disease rather frequently. This is due to stomach's straight connection with external environment through the mouth and oesophagus. The condition of stomach is also affected by the human psyche. There is huge amount of stomach diseases. We rank among the most common inflammatory disease, peptic ulcers, gastric polyps and unfortunately tumorous diseases, i.e. cancer of the stomach.
Inflammation of the stomach or gastritis is a common disease affecting adolescents and adults. Inflammation is a natural defensive reaction of the organism. Inflammation of the stomach can be divided into several types depending on the duration, causation of the disease and other properties. We distinguish between acute and chronic gastritis.
- Acute gastritis is a sudden illness with searing pain in hypogastrium, loss of appetite, nausea, and sometimes headache or diarrhoea may be present. Causes of development are different. Among the most common is alcohol, hot or spicy food, smoking or bacteria. The main culprit among bacteria is Helicobacter pylori. Inflammation can be caused by certain drugs, particularly those which contain acetylsalicylic acid such as aspirin and ibuprofen. Acute gastritis usually heals spontaneously within 1-2 days, dietary measures and cot rest is recommended. In the early days, it is advisable to consume only tea, and biscuits after 2-3 days and after then return to the low-fat dishes.
- Chronic gastritis is a disease of a prolonged nature. The cause of chronic gastritis is in the vast majority of cases Helicobacter pylori. The disease does not progress as fast as in acute inflammation. It develops slowly and often without symptoms. Chronic inflammation of the stomach shows as a dull pain in hypogastrium, loss of appetite or feeling full. If the disease is prolonged it comes to the breach of gastric mucosa, reduction in the production of hydrochloric acid and the ability to absorb certain substances, especially vitamin B12. This results in the emergence of pernicious anaemia, i.e. anaemia caused by insufficiency of vitamin B12. Chronic gastritis is a precursor of the development of ulcers, and also in some cases of gastric cancer known as malignant tumour.
Furthermore, we include gastric ulcers among the diseases of stomach. These are a sharply circumscribed areas of disturbed mucosa, submucosa and muscle layers of the stomach. If the muscle layer is not violated then we are talking only about gastric erosion. Gastric ulcer is a common disease affecting mainly men and has long-term character. The dominant symptom of peptic ulcer disease is pain in hypogastrium. In the case of gastric ulcer, pain occurs within 2 hours after a meal. Other symptoms include loss of appetite, belching, weight loss and vomiting. Treatment consists of pharmacotherapy during which are used proton pump inhibitors, antacids which reduce stomach acidity and antibiotics. We distinguish between acute and chronic ulcers.
- Acute ulcer, if there are no complications, may not have any symptoms, it heals relatively quickly by the multiplication of healthy cells in mucosa.
- Chronic ulcer is associated with chronic gastritis and helicobacter pylori infection. There comes to the disruption of protective mucus lining of stomach and it's partial digestion with hydrochloric acid. Complication can be the ulcer penetrating through wall to the other adjacent organs, especially the liver and spleen or bleeding into the abdominal cavity as a result of damage to large arteries. These are a life-threatening conditions! Normally, only one or two ulcers occur and they develops rarely in greater numbers. Negative effect on the development of ulcers has smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, frequent consumption of spicy food, and psychological effects such as fatigue, depression and stress.
Unfortunately, stomach can be also affected by cancer. This is not so common disease but it is most serious one. Place of the proliferation of cancer cells is mucosa. Causation is long-lasting inflammation, infection with helicobacter pylori or carcinogenic substances contained in food, such as nitrosamines, phthalates. Treatment consists of surgery, i.e. removal of the part of stomach and chemotherapy. A significant danger is development of tumour metastases, thus creation of the secondary tumour nodes. In stomach cancer are metastases formed in the liver, spleen, or duodenum. The success of treatment and chance of recovery depends on the stage of disease in which is the treatment initiated.
Risk factors for diseases of stomach
Diagnosis of the most gastric diseases requires examination by specialist. They are generally well treatable. Considerable risk which increases the chance of development of gastric disease is smoking, consumption of alcohol, eating spicy food or bad food composition and the use of large quantities of drugs.