What are the Symptoms of Atrophic Gastritis?

Atrophic gastritis is a condition characterized by the inflammation and gradual destruction of the stomach lining, leading to a reduction in the production of digestive enzymes and stomach acid. The symptoms of atrophic gastritis can be mild or absent in the early stages but may become more noticeable as the condition progresses. Common symptoms and manifestations of atrophic gastritis include:

  1. Digestive Discomfort: Many individuals with atrophic gastritis experience various digestive symptoms, including:
    • Bloating: A sensation of fullness and abdominal distention.
    • Indigestion: Discomfort or pain in the upper abdomen, often associated with eating.
    • Nausea: A feeling of queasiness or the urge to vomit.
  2. Loss of Appetite: Atrophic gastritis can lead to a reduced desire to eat, resulting in weight loss or poor weight gain in children.
  3. Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies: As the stomach’s ability to absorb essential nutrients is impaired, individuals with atrophic gastritis may develop deficiencies in vitamin B12, iron, and other nutrients, leading to symptoms like:
    • Fatigue: Due to anemia resulting from a lack of vitamin B12 or iron.
    • Tingling or Numbness: Neuropathy (nerve damage) can lead to sensations of tingling or numbness in the extremities.
    • Pale Skin: Anemia can cause the skin to become pale.
  4. Chronic Gastric Discomfort: Some individuals may experience ongoing discomfort or pain in the upper abdomen.
  5. Increased Risk of Gastric Cancer: Atrophic gastritis is a known risk factor for the development of stomach cancer, but it may not cause specific symptoms related to cancer.

It’s important to note that many people with atrophic gastritis may not have noticeable symptoms, and the condition can be detected incidentally during medical evaluations for other reasons or through diagnostic tests, such as upper gastrointestinal endoscopy or blood tests to measure vitamin and mineral levels.

Atrophic gastritis is often associated with chronic infection by Helicobacter pylori bacteria, autoimmune disorders, or long-term use of medications that reduce stomach acid. Treatment may involve addressing the underlying cause, supplementation with vitamins and minerals, and, in some cases, acid-reducing medications. If you experience persistent digestive discomfort, unexplained fatigue, or other concerning symptoms, it’s important to consult a healthcare professional for a proper evaluation and diagnosis.