The risk of developing gastritis is at its highest when:
- A person indulges in extreme (and frequent) alcohol consumption. Alcohol irritates the stomach lining and thus causes disruptions when in contact with stomach juices. Excessive alcohol consumption usually causes acute cases of gastritis.
- A person regularly uses non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) such as aspirin and ibuprofen. Regular use of these types of pain relievers can reduce a key substance in the body that naturally helps preserve the protective lining of your stomach.
- An individual is a regular cocaine user or addict.
- The stomach lining thins naturally as a person ages. Older adults are also typically more prone to Helicobacter pylori or autoimmune disorders than younger people are.
- A person experiences high levels of stress because of illness, a major surgery or severe injury (such as burns).
- Someone has an autoimmune disorder or digestive disorder. Autoimmune gastritis can develop when the body begins to ‘attack’ cells that make up the stomach lining. The immune system then reacts by wearing away the stomach’s protective barrier. Autoimmune gastritis is linked with a vitamin B-12 deficiency and is more common with those diagnosed with other autoimmune disorders (such as Hashimoto’s disease and type 1 diabetes).
- A person falls ill with a viral, parasitic or bacterial infection. A vulnerability to Helicobacter pylori can sometimes be inherited or caused by certain lifestyle choices exposing you to the bacteria or that which makes you more vulnerable. Such choices include smoking and allowing high levels of continuous stress in your life.
- A person with other medical conditions such as HIV/AIDS and Crohn’s disease.