Symptoms of chronic gastritis
Chronic gastritis may result in a vast number of symptoms, which can be both local and systematic.
- One of the earliest symptoms of the disease is a sense of weight, which can last up to a few hours after a meal. Patients usually describe the sensation as if they have swallowed a piece of lead or a stone. A sense of dull, cramping or burning pain may also be present.
- As the disease progresses, flatulence can become and additional distressing symptom. This can be accompanied by eructations (belching) of gas or gas mixed with acrid fluids. Nausea is also a common symptom which can sometimes be followed by vomiting shortly after the patient has eaten a meal.
- The examination of the patient’s tongue usually shows that its moist, male, broad, and a bit more heavily coated than normal, breath is usually offensive, and the patient may complain of having bitter taste on the back of the tongue. Occasionally, however, the tongue may be red and sleek, which could be a sign of megaloblastic anemia caused by type A chronic gastritis.
- When the chronic gastritis is also accompanied by fermentation processes that occur in the stomach (since the digestion of the food is slowed down), this can lead to a spasm of both pyloric and lower esophageal sphincter. This causes a buildup of gas within the stomach, causing it to push on the sensitive nerves of the heart. This in turn can cause palpitation and extreme pain in the region of the heart, known as cardialgia. This often causes great distress to the patient, and as the pain increases even more, the patient may even lose consciousness. This symptom can be mistaken for a heart attack, which is why it is important to make an electrocardiography to differentiate between the two.
- Digestion is slowed down and performed imperfectly during gastritis which results in occasional diarrhea. This happens because the undigested food acts as an irritant on the walls of the intestinal canal and increases the osmotic pressure within the canal, drawing the water into the digestive tract, which is exactly the reason why diarrhea occurs.