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Gastritis/Duodenitis

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What is Gastritis/Duodenitis?

Gastritis is an inflammation of the stomach lining while duodenitis is an inflammation of the upper part of the small intestine, also known as the duodenum in Singapore. Both conditions may be acute (sudden onset) or chronic (long-lasting) and are often curable with little to no complications.

What are the common causes?

The causes of both gastritis and duodenitis are similar, these are:
  • Helicobacter pylori (H.Pylori): Bacterial infection that causes inflammation of the stomach and duodenum. It can be passed from person to person and through contaminated water and food.
  • Long-term use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): Excessive use of NSAIDs (e.g., ibuprofen, aspirin) may affect the protective lining of the stomach and duodenum, resulting in inflammation.
  • Irritable bowel disease (IBD): Crohn’s disease can cause chronic inflammation of the stomach and duodenum.
  • Excessive alcohol consumption: Gastritis caused by alcohol consumption is also known as alcohol gastritis
  • Smoking: Smoking is linked to both gastritis and duodenitis.
  • External causes: Traumatic injury or surgery to the abdomen, injuries to the stomach or small intestine can cause gastritis and duodenitis.
  • Coeliac disease: An autoimmune disorder that is associated with gastritis.
  • Bile reflux: Bile reflux gastritis caused by irritation of the stomach or duodenum lining due to bile.
  • Cancer treatments: Chemotherapy and radiotherapy can cause gastritis and duodenitis.

What are the common symptoms of Gastritis/Duodenitis in Singapore?

Sometimes people with gastritis or duodenitis may not have any symptoms. However, those who do may experience the following symptoms:

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Indigestion
  • Stomach pains
  • Burning sensation in the stomach
  • Feeling full quickly (early satiety)
  • Bloody/black sticky stools

Is Gastritis/Duodenitis painful?

Yes, some symptoms of gastritis and duodenitis are painful like stomach or abdominal pains.

Who is at risk for Gastritis/Duodenitis in Singapore?

Gastritis and duodenitis are often preventable. However, if you have the following, you could be at a higher risk:

  • Age: Like most diseases, the risk of getting gastritis or duodenitis increases with age.
  • Bacterial infection: infection by the H.pylori bacteria is very common but it only causes gastritis or duodenitis in some, not all. 
  • Long-term use of NSAIDs: Regular use of NSAIDs (e.g., ibuprofen and aspirin) may result in the removal of the protective lining of the stomach making you more vulnerable to gastritis.
  • Alcoholism: Excessive consumption of alcohol can irritate the lining of the stomach resulting in gastritis.
  • Smokers: Smoking can harm your digestive system in a number of ways including gastritis and duodenitis.
  • External stress: Major surgery, trauma, or infections can cause gastritis.
  • Cancer treatment: Chemotherapy and radiotherapy can cause gastritis.
  • Autoimmune disorders: When your body starts attacking itself, it might start breaking down the cells that line your stomach resulting in autoimmune gastritis.
  • Other medical conditions: Crohn’s disease, coeliac disease, HIV/AIDS, sarcoidosis, and infections by parasites increase your risk of gastritis or duodenitis.

How is Gastritis/Duodenitis diagnosed?

If you present with symptoms of gastritis or duodenitis, your gastroenterologist will conduct the following tests:

  • H.Pylori test: a stool or breath test will be conducted to check for the presence of the H. Pylori bacteria
  • Gastroscopy: A long, thin, and flexible tube with a light and camera attached at one end is inserted into your mouth and guided through your oesophagus, into your stomach and then your duodenum. Your gastroenterologist will be able to check for inflammation of both the stomach and the duodenum.
  • Barium swallow: You swallow liquid that helps your digestive tract light up during a special type of x-ray known as a fluoroscopy.

What are the treatment options for Gastritis/Duodenitis in Singapore?

The treatment options for gastritis/duodenitis vary depending on the cause of their issues. Treatment options include:

  • Antibiotics

Antibiotics are used to treat a H.Pylori infection

  • Medication to reduce production of acid

A reduction in acids can help the stomach lining to heal

  • Proton inhibitor pumps (PIPs)

PPIs helps to reduce acid in the digestive tract which in turn helps to relieve gastritis and duodenitis symptoms.

  • H2 receptor blockers

These stop the production of stomach acid

  • Avoid alcohol or NSAIDs

This is especially true for gastritis brought on by excessive alcohol consumption or long-term consumption of NSAIDs.

Frequently asked questions

Are gastritis and duodenitis curable?
Yes, they can be cured by lifestyle changes and medications.

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    6A Napier Road, Annexe Block #05-35C Gleneagles Hospital
    Singapore 258500
    820 Thomson Road, #06-07 Mount Alvernia Medical Centre A Singapore 574623

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