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Forum Name: Gastroenterology Topics

Question: Type A Gastritis


 helenasmask - Mon Dec 29, 2008 11:16 am

Hello,
I am a 31 year old female, I have been having left upper quadrant pain for 3 years. I had a Upper GI in 2006, with no hernia, negative for H Pylori. The results were a small gastric ulcer, gastritis, duodenitis. I have been on Nexium for 2 years, with not much improvement. I had discussed with my gastroenterologist on my last visit whether it would improve. He simply stated that I might have IBS. I have starting having fibromyalgia symptoms and am going to a rheumatologist soon. In collecting my medical records I was reading through my gastro charts. They clearly state that they have no idea why I have gastritis. Further, it appears that my red blood count is always low and borders on anemia.

My question is this. Is there a routine testing for Type A Gastritis? How common is this type of Gastritis? I cannot seem to find much information on it. It seems that all information is based off of the H Pylori bacteria, which I was negative for.

I also have a family history of stomach problems. My father has GERD, my uncle had GERD due to a hernia, my grandfather had some of his stomach removed due to ulcers (although I don't know much of his health history).
 John Kenyon, CNA - Sun Jan 04, 2009 10:02 pm

User avatar Hi there -

Chronic Type A gastritis is not caused by h.pylori bacteria, but is an autoimmune disease. Fibromyalgia is also often seen along with any one or more of a galaxy of annoying problems. Anemia is often due to trivial GI bleeding due to contant gastric irritation and ulceration, and is very common with this disease.

Autoimmune testing (ANA panel) should be done to confirm this, but it would seem to have been diagnosed already by default. People who suffer from this often find it waxes and wanes, and can be aggravated by stress. The rheumatologist, in this case, may be of more help to you now than a GI specialist, although both should be involved in your care.

There is plenty that can be done for this problem, even though it is likely to recur, especially during times of stress, and occasionally for no apparent reason. There is a least one very simple, very old medication that's often overlooked which can be very helpful with this problem: sucrafate ( brand name: Carafate). While other proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are indispensable in treating this problem, sucrafate can often bring about dramatic short-term relief, so shouldn't be overlooked.

You seem to have inherited a genetically heritable type of gastritis instead of the more "popular" h.pylori, and while that type can be cured, it can also recur. Type A (autoimmune) gastritis can be managed well enough that the outlook is generally very good, but it's difficult to completely stamp out all the symptoms all the time.

I hope this is helpful to you. Please follow up with us here as needed. Good luck to you with this annoying problem. Hopefully you'll be feeling much better very soon.

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