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Atrophic Gastritis Related Questions

Have you been diagnosed with atrophic gastritis? Is your body not able to absorb iron or certain vitamins? When your body does not taken in the nutrients you are trying to provide it can cause more problems to occur. Your doctor or specialist will be able to answer your questions; however, not all questions come to mind when you are given the diagnosis. This is when it is essential to know that medical Experts are available online and without having to make an appointment. Read below where verified medical Experts have provided customized answered for many people who are suffering from symptoms of atrophic gastritis or think they may have it. 

What is atrophic gastritis?

This is a condition that can develop when the lining of the stomach has been inflamed for several years. Typically, the inflammation is caused by an infection of the bacterium H. pylori that disturbs the barrier of mucus and gradually destroys the cells in the stomach lining. The mucus protects the stomach lining from acidic juices that help to digest food.

How is pernicious anemia linked to atrophic gastritis?

Pernicious anemia is secondary to the destruction of the gastric mucosa caused by an autoimmune disorder. The destruction of the lining can cause atrophic gastritis to develop and the secretion of intrinsic factor which is needed to absorb vitamin B12.  

What tests are recommended to determine the cause of impaired iron absorption and blood loss?

To help determine if atrophic gastritis and achlorhydria are present a stomach biopsy is needed. Both conditions could cause impairment in the absorption of iron. Other tests that may need to be performed can include:

  • A stool exam for occult or hidden blood which can originate from the small intestine.
  • A stool examination to test for parasites. A hookworm infection is the most frequent cause of blood loss. However, other helminthic infections such as severe Trichuris trichiura infection, Schistosoma mansoni and Schistosoma japonica may also be present.
  • Capsule enteroscopy which is when a small capsule camera is swallowed. Pictures are then sent of the entire gastrointestinal tract and can show a bleeding point.
  • Mesenteric angiography which can indicate any vascular malformation, such as bleeding in the large or small intestines.
  • Barium meal with a follow through study to find any abnormality in the small intestine.

Would a stomach biopsy be needed to diagnose atrophic gastritis?

A biopsy of the stomach and/or a gastroscopy may help determine a diagnosis. 

Can Prevacid be taken for long periods of time?

This medication can be administered for long periods of time to help relieve symptoms or the over production of stomach acid. Periodic blood tests to check for calcium, B12, iron and magnesium will be required. The risks that could occur as a result of the long term use can include:

  • Atrophic gastritis which could cause the stomach to shrink and cause long term inflammation.
  • Low magnesium levels.
  • Low calcium levels.
  • Poor stomach absorption of vitamin B12 and iron.

As seen above it is common for patients to have many questions when diagnosed with atrophic gastritis. Patients will be at ease when they know where to turn for quick reliable information. Medical Experts are readily available to help answer all of your questions in a timely manner from the privacy of your home.

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