Gastritis is the inflammation of the stomach wall (mucosa wall). This is due to some factors such as:
2. bacterial infection: Helicobacter Pylor and finally
This article will be centered on Gastritis due to auto-immune attack and it is from this information we will understand how AMAG manifests.
The body has its own natural system of protecting itself, be it on a general scale or on a cellular scale. Our skin for instance protects the internal organs from mechanical attacks, trauma etc. This is a general protection, it is not specific.
Coming down to specificity in protecting the body, we will now have to understand how the body defense system works in a cellular capacity. There are cells called immune cells, some of them directly attack any foreign body which penetrates into our systems, while some secrete or produce substance which can take pro-active measures in ensuring these foreign bodies are identified (antigens) and eliminated. But a situation whereby this system of protecting the body turns around to attack the body it suppose to protect, we say it is an auto-immune process.
These cells or antibodies, identify a part of the body's system as foreign and then treats it as such, hence attacking it just to eradicate it. So, any process at all which is tagged as an auto-immune process in Medical terms undergo this exact sequence. The variability now depends on the cells/tissues or organs which are identified as foreign.
In Auto-immune Gastritis, the cells seen as foreign to the immune system are the parietal cells. Parietal cells are found on the mucosa membrane of the stomach. These cells secrete the Hydrochloric acid in the stomach, hence giving the stomach that acidic environment. Not only that, they are responsible for the production of a substance called the GIF: Gastric Intrinsic factor. The GIF is responsible for the absorption of Vitamin B12 into the duodenum.
Now, if antibodies attack the parietal cells, they will not be able to secrete hydrochloric acid and the GIF. This singular pathological process is what is responsible for the two main symptoms of Auto-immune Gastritis: Pernicious Anemia and decrease hydrochloric acid in the stomach.
Vitamin B 12 is responsible for the metabolism of Blood and since it cannot be reabsorbed through the duodenum to the blood stream, it is excreted. And a deficiency means deficiency in production of blood. This then results to Anemia.
Attack on the parietal cells means reduction in secretion of the acid in the stomach. And this is known as hypochlorydia. More attacks to the point no secretion occurs means absence of the acid: Achlorydia.
1. The usual dyspeptic symptoms in gastritis: Nausea, vomiting, epigastric pain, diarrhea, indigestion etc.
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