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.
Causes of acute gastritis include:
Causes of chronic gastritis include:
Bacterial infection, such as
- Viral infection
- Fungal infection
- NSAID use
Alcohol use disorder
- Reflux of bile into the stomach
Autoimmune diseases such as
Pernicious anemia—a cause of autoimmune gastritis
- Swallowing caustic substances
Factors that may increase your chance of acute gastritis include:
- NSAID use
- Excess alcohol use
- Head injury
- Respiratory failure
- Kidney failure
- Liver failure
Factors that increase your chance of getting chronic gastritis include:
- NSAID use
- Excessive alcohol intake
Gastritis may cause:
- Abdominal burning and pain
- Acid reflux, when stomach acid comes up the esophagus
- 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
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
Tests may include:
Upper GI series—x-rays with contrast material to highlight abnormalities (also called a barium swallow)
Upper GI endoscopy
—a thin, lighted tube inserted down the throat and into the stomach to examine the inside of the stomach
Blood, breath, or stool tests—to check for infection with the bacteria
|Upper GI Endoscopy
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Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Options may include:
Medications for gastritis help relieve symptoms and help heal the stomach lining. Medications are available over-the-counter or by prescription. Your doctor may recommend:
- Proton pump inhibitors
- Antibiotics if an infection is present or possible
Treatment may also include stopping or changing NSAIDs or other medications that may be causing the irritation.
To help reduce your chance of gastritis from NSAIDs:
- Use other drugs when possible for managing pain.
- Take the lowest possible dose.
- Do not take drugs longer than needed.
- Do not drink alcohol while taking the drugs.
To help reduce your chance of H. pylori
- Wash your hands after using the bathroom and before eating or preparing food.
- Drink water from a safe source.
If you smoke,
talk to your doctor about how to successfully quit
American College of Gastroenterology
American Gastroenterological Association
Canadian Association of Gastroenterology
Acute gastritis. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:
http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115779/Acute-gastritis. Updated January 8, 2013. Accessed September 28, 2016.
Chronic gastritis. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:
http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T170655/Chronic-gastritis. Updated August 28, 2014. Accessed September 28, 2016.
Gastritis. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at:
http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/digestive-diseases/gastritis/Pages/facts.aspx. Updated April 23, 2012. Accessed May 1, 2013.
- Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board
Daus Mahnke, MD
- Review Date:
- Update Date: