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Risk Factors of Gastritis

There are various risk factors (some of which are causative factors also) for gastritis. These factors that may increase risk of gastritis include bacterial infection, overuse or regular use of pain medication (mainly NSAIDs), excess alcohol intake, stress, smoking, older age, autoimmunity, other medical conditions etc.

Bacterial infection:

One of the major risk factor (as well as causative factor) for gastritis is infection of H. pylori (Helicobacter pylori) in stomach. However, only few among the infected persons develop gastritis, because most of the world population are infected with the bacteria and only some develop gastritis. Other factors (such as smoking, stress, lifestyle etc.) along with H. pylori infection also play a role.

Overuse or regular use of pain medication:

Common (available over the counter without prescription) pain medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen etc. are easily available and commonly used for pain relief. These medications can cause gastritis if used regularly without any precaution, because they irritate stomach lining. These medications, if used for long duration and without any precaution can damage the protective mechanism of stomach and lead to gastritis. Fortunately, fever medication acetaminophen usually do not produce any gastritis.

Excess alcohol intake:

Alcohol irritates stomach and chronic intake of alcohol can lead to gastritis in long run. Irritation of stomach lining by alcohol make it vulnerable to damage by digestive juices.

Stress:

Stress due to major surgery, severe, burns, serious infection and recovery period from chronic illness may cause gastritis.

Older age:

As age increases, protective mechanism of stomach becomes weak. There is also increased risk of contacting H. pylori infection as age increases. These factors may increase risk of gastritis at old age.

Autoimmune gastritis:

Your own defense mechanism act against you and cause autoimmune gastritis. This form of gastritis is more common among individuals who suffer from other autoimmune diseases.

Smoking:

Smoking may not directly lead to gastritis. However, smoking delays healing and healing of any injury to stomach too is delayed by smoking. Hence, smokers are at higher risk of gastritis.

Other medical conditions:

Various medical conditions tend to increase risk of gastritis such as HIV/AIDS, pancreatitis, Crohn’s disease etc.

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