Atrophy of the gastric mucosa is a pathological process in the gastric mucosa, one of the varieties of chronic gastritis, characterized by the death of functioning cells, which are replaced by scar tissue, which leads to a thinning of the walls of the organ. The disease is considered precancerous, since the risk of developing a malignant tumor is very high.
Atrophic foci can be found in any type of gastritis – if untreated, the lesions grow and cover a large area, involving tissues.
The disease often occurs at any age, regardless of the sex of the person, the causes of the pathology are different – from poor-quality nutrition to infectious or bacterial lesions of the mucous membrane.
Pathology is diagnosed after visiting a gastroenterologist – a comprehensive study is carried out, tests are submitted. Treatment is prescribed after confirmation of the diagnosis, depending on the form and degree of development of atrophy. Without therapeutic measures and in neglected forms, the prognosis is negative.
Atrophy of the gastric mucosa is the first step on the way to cancer, the patient needs high-quality and timely help.
Most often, mucosal atrophy is localized in the lower third of the stomach in the antrum. With a pathological process, gastric juice ceases to be produced and is replaced by mucus, acidity decreases greatly, the mucous membrane loses its protective membrane.
After eating, any foreign elements can be harmful, the autoimmune system begins to be involved in the process, which is not able to respond normally to the stimulus and fights its own epithelium, and restorative functions are blocked.
The walls of the stomach become thinner, food enters the intestines unprepared, the synthesis of gastrin increases. At this stage of the development of the pathological process, there is already a high risk of the formation of malignant tumors.
Atrophy of the mucous membrane of the antrum of the stomach is classified according to the area of distribution, according to localization, the nature of the course, according to the severity.
For etiological factors, it happens:
Autoimmune atrophy. The body produces antibodies to its own cells, which contributes to the development of an inflammatory autoimmune process, which is accompanied by the death of tissues. It occurs due to failures in the immune system, affecting the bottom and body of the stomach, interferes with the absorption of nutrients, and acid deficiency develops. Bacterial. The main cause of the lesion is the bacterium Helicobacter Pylori. The area of the focus is small, but the process can lead to a stomach ulcer, the course of the pathology may be asymptomatic.
By the affected area:
superficial atrophy – acidity is within normal limits, a lot of mucus is released, but the protection of the organ is preserved, during the study, areas of dystrophy are found; focal atrophy of the gastric mucosa – there is a moderate degree of decrease in acidity, alternation of areas of atrophy and normal tissue, at this stage it is possible to cure the disease, since normal cells can still take on the main function; diffuse atrophy – a large area of damage to the entire antrum of the stomach is characteristic, all cells are involved in the pathological process, continuous fibrosis appears; erosive – at the site of atrophy, blood circulation is disturbed, which causes hemorrhage in the form of spots, gastric bleeding may develop, often occurs in people with alcohol dependence; antral – is called because of localization, is characterized by scarring, causes a narrowing of the department, can lead to an ulcer.
Weak – there is a slight contraction of the main glands, 10% of the cells are hardened; moderate – secondary cells are also found with the main cells, 20% of cells die off, mucosal atrophy is observed; pronounced – manifests itself in large areas of dead cells, cells secreting acid are replaced by mucous membranes, more than 30% of cells die off, the condition is aggravated.
The form of the pathological process is determined only by appropriate diagnostic measures.
Atrophic changes in the mucous membrane are asymptomatic in the initial stages and are detected after routine medical examinations.
The patient goes to the clinic only when the symptoms are pronounced:
heaviness is felt in the stomach, which increases after eating; appetite decreases; an unpleasant aftertaste appears in the mouth; periodic nausea; strong belching; white coating on the tongue; upset stool, diarrhea; pain in the lower abdomen.
weight loss; poor sleep; violation of menstruation; anxiety; fatigue; irritability; headaches; frequent stomatitis.
On palpation, a thickening of the stomach wall is felt, there is bloating, sharp pain, distinct tension. If at least one symptom from the list is present, you should contact a gastroenterologist.
Treatment of atrophy of the gastric mucosa will depend on the reasons that contributed to the formation of the pathology:
In case of bacterial infection, bacteria are destroyed with the help of antibiotics, the microflora is restored; acidity and electrolyte balance is restored; antispasmodics are used; drugs that relieve inflammation are prescribed; stimulants for the production of hydrochloric acid; with severe thinning of the mucous membrane, a diet is prescribed in which food is boiled, stewed or baked, products that are difficult to digest for a long time are excluded, a ban on the use of fatty, fried, alcohol and coffee.
The diet will have a graduated appearance – from strict to looser. Meals should be frequent and small in portions until the gastrointestinal tract is fully restored.
Folk remedies must be used carefully, all home treatment methods must be coordinated with the attending physician without fail. With timely therapy and adherence to all clinical recommendations, the prognosis of recovery is positive.