Causes of chronic gastritis
Causes of chronic gastritis can be separated into two groups – external and internal.
External causes of chronic gastritis
- The most common cause of chronic gastritis is Helicobacter pylori infection, which is responsible for the majority of cases.
- The second most common cause is non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Since these drugs are mainly used as painkillers, many people unknowingly create even more problems for themselves as they try to relieve their headache and muscle cramps.
- Poor eating habits – is also among the main reasons that trigger gastritis. When people eat only a couple of times per day, they tend to get very hungry and overeat once they get the chance. Overeating places a lot of stress on the stomach, which, overtime, can lead to gastritis.
- Regular consumption of alcohol – regular consumption of small doses of alcohol increases stomach’s acidity which promotes chronic gastritis.
- Smoking tobacco – nicotine was shown to increase stomach acidity; however, other studies have discovered that in patients that had Type B chronic gastritis, the nicotine actually decreased the inflammation, in comparison to the control group. Nevertheless, smoking makes it twice as likely for a person to develop stomach cancer as a result of gastritis, so all people with gastritis are advised to stop smoking.
- Influence of radiation on the stomach’s lining – procedures that involve treatment using radiation that is focused on epigastric region may lead to gastritis and ulceration of the mucous layer, which tend to heal very slowly.
- Chronic stress – can lead to an increased production of stomach acid in addition to lowering the immune defense of the body to bacterial infection, including H. pylori.
Internal causes of chronic gastritis
- Genetic predisposition – it is a well-known fact that most of the people that get infected by Helicobacter pylori do not develop chronic gastritis. Studies have shown that relatives of people that suffer from chronic gastritis are also prone to developing similar conditions.
- Duodenal reflux – duodenogastric reflux causes some of the bile to be spilled back into stomach. This causes a constant irritation of the pyloric canal which can damage mucosal barrier, leading to chronic gastritis.
- Autoimmune damage – various factors including infectious diseases and stress can trigger an abnormal response of the immune system to produce antibodies which target parietal cells of the stomach’s walls. This causes atrophy of the acid producing cells leading to a decrease in acidity and in decrease in production of intrinsic factor, which is responsible for absorption of vitamin B12.
- Chronic bacterial infections of other organs – may lead to amyloidosis of the stomach, which isn’t exactly an inflammation, but it can result in alteration of the stomach’s walls due to a large deposit of amyloid.
- Hypovitaminosis D – Vitamin D displays anti-inflammatory and immunoregulatory functions, aside from its other properties. Studies have shown that hypovitaminosis of vitamin D increases the chances of a person developing type A gastritis.
- Diseases of distant organs can often cause gastritis as a reflex. For example, diseases of the rectal area are a very common cause of gastritis.
This includes: hemorrhoids, fissures, prolapses of the bowel, and fistulous ulcers.
Additionally, diseases of the ovaries, uterus, tubes, bladder and urethra are also frequently to blame.