Causes of acute gastritis

Acute gastritis is usually caused by ingestion of certain chemical substances, drugs, and food contaminated with pathogenic bacteria and viruses.

This includes:

Strong drugs or alcohol

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and corticosteroids – they lower the production of prostaglandins, which decreases the ability of gastric mucous to protect itself from gastric acid.
  • Strong alcohol in large quantities causes destruction of the mucous layer, possibly even causing ulceration.
  • Ingesting corrosive substances, such as strong acids or bases, causes necrosis of everything they come in contact with, starting from the tongue, esophagus, and finishing with all layers of the stomach’s walls.
  • Food contaminated with large doses of staphylococcus, streptococcus or salmonella (especially sweet, fatty food placed in warm environment) – the toxins secreted by these bacteria cause large amounts of tumor necrosis factor, interleukin-1 and interleukin-2 to be released, which cause severe intoxication, with a possibility of toxic shock syndrome.

Also, acute gastritis can be triggered by other illnesses, including severe trauma, acute infectious diseases and metabolic disorders.

This includes:

acute gastritis can be triggered by other illnesses

  • Major surgery – any major surgery decreases the body’s ability to protect itself, since all the forces of the body are drained by the need to repair the wound left by the operation. The immune response is lowered, the reparative processes slowdown, which is why even a minor trigger can cause acute gastritis.
  • Heart attack and stroke – not only do those conditions lower the body’s immune response, they can also be a source of very acute pain, which can cause a reflectory acute gastritis.
  • Liver failure – it is well known that the majority of proteins are synthesized in our livers; also the liver neutralizes harmful metabolites and toxins within our bloodstream. During liver failure, the body is weakened by metabolites that the liver is unable to break down, and by the fact that reparative processes are slowed down, which in turn can cause acute gastritis.
  • Kidney failure – this condition leads to a buildup of urea and other waste products which, just like in former cases, lower the body’s immune response, possibly triggering acute gastritis.
  • Respiratory failure – doesn’t have any direct impact on the stomach; however, in some rare cases it was known to cause a reflectory acute gastritis, considerably worsening the condition of the patient.
  • Severe damage to soft tissues and burns – damage to soft tissues and burns lead to immense amount of toxins being released into the bloodstream, which can cause acute gastritis themselves. Moreover, these toxins strike the immune system, while the loss of proteins decreases the body’s restorative abilities. Also, especially when the patient is suffering from severe burns, simply the pain alone can cause a reflectory acute gastritis.
  • Acute radiation exposure – causes a radiation-induced hemorrhagic gastritis, which is a serious condition and demands immediate medical attention. It is often characterized by intestinal bleeding, severity of which depends on how severe was the radiation exposure.
  • Infection caused by cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex virus, and Helicobacter pylori (especially if the person is infected by HIV) – due to suppressed immune system of the patient that is infected by HIV, almost any infection can lead to dire consequences.

Unlike a healthy person, a patient with suppressed immune system can develop acute gastritis as a result of getting infected by viruses and bacteria mentioned above.