Gastritis

Gastritis is an inflammation of the stomach lining. Gastritis can be defined as: Gastritis can be erosive. Erosive gastritis can wear away the lining of the stomach. It may also cause ulcers and bleeding.

  • Causes

    Causes of acute gastritis include:


    • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as
      aspirin
    • Steroid medications
    • Alcohol
      use
    • Smoking

    • Severe stress from
      sepsis
      , burns, or injury

    Causes of chronic gastritis include:


    • Bacterial infection, such as
      Helicobacter pylori
      (
      H. pylori
      )
    • Viral infection
    • Fungal infection
    • NSAID use
    • Alcohol use
    • Reflux of bile into the stomach

    • Autoimmune diseases such as
      Crohns disease
      , or
      sarcoidosis
    • Pernicious anemia
      , a cause of autoimmune gastritis
    • Radiation treatment
    • Swallowing caustic substances

  • Definition

    Gastritis is an inflammation of the stomach lining. Gastritis can be defined as:

    • Acute—comes on suddenly and lasts for a short time
    • Chronic—either long lasting or recurrent

    Gastritis can be erosive. Erosive gastritis can wear away the lining of the stomach. It may also cause ulcers and bleeding.

  • Diagnosis

    The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.

    Tests may include:

    • Upper GI series
      —a series of x-rays of the upper digestive system taken after drinking a barium solution
    • Endoscopy
      —a thin, lighted tube inserted down the throat and into the stomach to examine the inside of the stomach
    • Biopsy

    • Blood, breath, or stool tests—to check for infection with the bacteria
      H. pylori
    Upper GI Endoscopy
    Nucleus factsheet image
    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

  • Prevention

    To reduce your chance of getting gastritis from NSAIDs:

    • Use other drugs when possible for managing pain.
    • Take the lowest possible dose.
    • Don't take drugs longer than needed.
    • Don't drink alcohol while taking the drugs.


    To reduce your chance of getting
    H. pylori
    infection:

    • Wash your hands after using the bathroom and before eating or preparing food.
    • Drink water from a safe source.


    If you smoke,
    quit
    . Avoid
    alcohol
    .

  • Risk Factors

    Factors that increase your chance of acute gastritis include:

    • NSAID use
    • Alcohol use
    • Head injury
    • Surgery
    • Respiratory failure
    • Kidney failure
    • Liver failure

    Factors that increase your chance of getting chronic gastritis include:

    • H. pylori
      infection
    • NSAID use
    • Alcohol use

  • Symptoms

    Symptoms may include:

    • Abdominal burning and pain
    • Indigestion
    • Acid reflux, when stomach acid comes up the esophagus
    • Burping
    • Bloating
    • Loss of appetite
    • Feeling full
    • Nausea and vomiting

    If the gastritis is causing bleeding, you may notice:

    • Bloody or black vomit
    • Bloody or dark black, tarry stools

  • Treatment

    Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Options may include: