Chronic atrophic gastritis: symptoms and treatment

Chronic atrophic gastritis — sluggish ailment, during which there is a thinning of the gastric mucosa, a decrease in the production of gastric juice due to a reduction in the number of glands. In about half of cases, such a disease is necessarily accompanied by a change in the structure of the membrane, that is, by its metaplasia. This is due to a decrease in the number of normal cells and glands and the formation of hybrids that have a combination of features that should not normally be present. Often occurs replacement of gastric cells by intestinal. In addition, the ailment differs in that as it progresses, the internal organs of the digestive tract, anatomically located nearby, are involved in the inflammatory process, as well as the functioning of the circulatory and nervous systems occur.

There are two main factors in the formation of such a disorder — the flow in the body of autoimmune processes, during which the body takes its own cells for foreign ones and produces antibodies against them. This type of ailment is a fairly rare disorder, as it occurs in every tenth patient with a diagnosis of chronic atrophic gastritis. The second main reason is the infection with the Helicobacter pylori bacteria.

There are no characteristic symptoms in the disease, as it is expressed by similar signs, as in other types of gastritis. For example, the onset of soreness on an empty stomach or after a while after a meal, increased gas emission, a burp with an unpleasant odor and heartburn, as well as unpleasant sensations in the stomach and general weakness of the body.

Diagnostics provides for a whole range of activities, both laboratory and instrumental. Thus, it includes — the study of blood tests, urine and feces of the patient, carrying out PHAGS, biopsy, sounding, ultrasound and radiography. The treatment depends entirely on the type of the disease, but in most cases, prescribe the course of drug therapy, adherence to dietary nutrition and the use of traditional medicine. Performing a surgical intervention for such a disorder is not provided.


The main reasons for the formation of such a disease are autoimmune diseases and the pathological effect of the microorganism. Other predisposing factors are:

  • malfunctioning of the endocrine system
  • acute poisoning;
  • a variety of primary and secondary gastrointestinal pathologies
  • the presence of infectious disorders in humans
  • maintaining an unhealthy lifestyle
  • heredity;
  • reflux;
  • irrational mode of work and rest
  • Irradiation of the body
  • malnutrition — eating excessively fatty, sharp and over-salted dishes, as well as cooking from low-quality products. This is why a diet takes a special place in the treatment of this disease;
  • A deficiency in the body of one or a whole group of vitamins, which contributes to the expression of specific symptoms
  • causeless use of medicines without prescribing a doctor or non-compliance with dosage.

Such a disease is a rather difficult condition, which requires only complex and long-term therapy. When untimely treatment (with the help of medicines or folk remedies), this type of gastritis can turn into an oncology.


There are several types of chronic atrophic gastritis, depending on the cause of the onset. Thus, the ailment is divided into:

  1. Helicobacter — infection of a human with Helicobacter pylori. First, the lesion of the mucosa is superficial, but as it progresses, the process extends to the deeper layers of the shell. This is the most common form of the disorder;
  2. autoimmune — often involves only the antral (the lowest) part of the stomach in the pathological process. Progresses due to the body’s production of antibodies against its own cells.

This is the main classification of the disease. But there are several more separations of the chronic form of atrophic gastritis:

  • focal — characterized by atrophy not all mucous, but only some of its areas and is characterized by high acidity of gastric juice
  • diffuse — During the diagnosis, severe dystrophic changes in the shell are expressed. It is the middle stage between the superficial form of the disease and severe dystrophy. This type of ailment is quite easy to treat unlike the hyperplastic and antral forms;
  • multifocal — has a heavy current and is very rare. It is manifested by the death of cells and inadequate production of hydrochloric acid. Often diagnosed in the elderly;
  • moderate — differs by a partial transformation of cells and glands into pathological ones
  • superficial — the easiest form of ailment, since without problems it can be treated in a complex way, unlike more severe types — focal or hyperplastic
  • chemical — can be formed against a background of reflux gastritis, prolonged intake of alcoholic beverages and medicines. If untimely treatment involves the appearance of complications such as erosion, carcinoma and polyps,
  • hyperplastic — with this form of the disease, not only the atrophy of the mucosa occurs, but also its hyperplasia. Against this background, there is a violation of the structure of the shell, it takes the form of a sponge, has many folds and cracks, as well as small nodules and small sores.

Despite the fact that each of the forms implies complex treatment using medicines, folk remedies and diet, it does not always end in recovery. This is due to the fact that atrophic chronic gastritis can be transformed into oncology, in particular its hyperplastic and multifocal forms.


The external manifestation of such a disease is practically no different from expressing the symptoms of any other kind of gastritis. Often there are such characteristic signs as:

  1. soreness in the stomach area — usually stupid and occurs on an empty stomach or after a while after eating;
  2. discomfort — determined by pressure, bursting, feeling of heaviness and rapid saturation
  3. severe heartburn;
  4. burp with a sour unpleasant odor
  5. flatulence;
  6. increased sweating
  7. discomfort in the oral cavity associated with the appearance of a whitish coating in the tongue and metallic taste;
  8. A significant decrease in body weight, which is caused by aversion to food
  9. pallor of the skin;
  10. increased fragility of nail plates and hair loss
  11. the onset of an inflammatory process in the gums
  12. weakness and lethargy.

In addition, there are specific signs for some of the types of atrophic gastritis. For example, for focal, additional symptoms are full intolerance to certain foods, in particular such as milk and sour-milk products, some types of meat and eggs cooked in any form. After eating them, heartburn, nausea and vomiting occur.

The antral type differs by the manifestation of nausea only after sleeping. Hyperplastic — a constant expression of pain in the stomach and the formation of hemorrhages.

In addition, despite the variety of the disease, it is almost always accompanied by a violation of the work not only of the stomach, but also of other organs of the gastrointestinal tract. For this reason, the secondary symptoms are a change in the intestinal function and metaplasia of the cells of the stomach. Some of the clinical manifestations can be eliminated only with medicines, and others with the help of folk remedies.


Establishing a final diagnosis requires a comprehensive survey. Before performing instrumental laboratory tests, it is necessary to carry out several activities by the attending physician:

  • studying the medical history and a history of the patient’s life — this will allow the specialist to identify possible causes of the disease;
  • physical examination — during it occurs palpation and rattling the front wall of the abdominal cavity, measuring the volume of the abdomen and examining the oral cavity. This will help the doctor to identify the presence and extent of symptoms.

Laboratory studies include conducting:

  1. blood tests — to search for pathological antibodies and changes in its composition
  2. study stool — to detect possible bleeding
  3. study urine — to identify co-morbid conditions.

This will enable the specialist to distinguish the hyperplastic form of the disease from the multifocal, focal from diffuse.

The instrumental methods of diagnosis include:

  • FEGDS with biopsy — a procedure that allows to assess the condition of the gastric mucosa and other gastrointestinal organs
  • Ultrasound;
  • Radiography using contrast medium — necessary for assessing gastric activity
  • SCT is necessary for the detection of antral chronic atrophic gastritis.

After examining all the results of the examination, the doctor prescribes the most effective treatment tactics.


Before prescribing any therapy, the patient is recommended to completely abandon bad habits. Only after this, medication is prescribed. To eliminate chronic atrophic gastritis:

  1. pain relievers and other drugs to eliminate symptoms;
  2. course of antibiotics and anti-Helicobacter drugs
  3. API;
  4. intravenous injection of vitamins
  5. Restorative and enveloping medicines for mucosal protection
  6. Prokinetics.

The complex treatment includes the use of physiotherapy:

  • Electrophoresis;
  • the effect of the electric field;
  • magnetic radiation.

The main place in therapy is the observance of dietary nutrition. It provides for the refusal of harmful food, in particular fatty and spicy dishes, carbonated drinks, marinades and smoked products. Supposes the use of only warm food, by no means hot, thorough chewing and elimination of overeating, especially at bedtime. There are necessary small portions five times a day.

In some cases, it is possible to treat folk remedies with medicine, but before using them, it is necessary to consult with your doctor.

Specific prevention of the disease does not exist, it is necessary only to lead a healthy lifestyle, adhere to recommendations for nutrition, take medication only as prescribed by a doctor with mandatory dosage.