Learn About Gastritis

What is the definition of Gastritis?

Gastritis occurs when the lining of the stomach becomes inflamed or swollen.

Gastritis can last for only a short time (acute gastritis). It may also linger for months to years (chronic gastritis).

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What are the causes of Gastritis?

The most common causes of gastritis are:

  • Certain medicines, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen and other similar drugs
  • Heavy alcohol drinking
  • Infection of the stomach with a bacteria called Helicobacter pylori

Less common causes are:

  • Autoimmune disorders (such as pernicious anemia)
  • Backflow of bile into the stomach (bile reflux)
  • Cocaine abuse
  • Eating or drinking caustic or corrosive substances (such as poisons)
  • Extreme stress
  • Viral infection, such as cytomegalovirus and herpes simplex virus (more often occurs in people with a weak immune system)

Trauma or a severe, sudden illness such as major surgery, kidney failure, or being placed on a breathing machine may cause gastritis.

What are the symptoms of Gastritis?

Many people with gastritis do not have any symptoms.

Symptoms you may notice are:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Pain in the upper part of the belly or abdomen

If gastritis is causing bleeding from the lining of the stomach, symptoms may include:

  • Black stools
  • Vomiting blood or coffee-ground-like material
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What are the current treatments for Gastritis?

Treatment depends on what is causing the problem. Some of the causes will go away over time.

You may need to stop taking aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, or other medicines that may be causing gastritis. Always talk to your health care provider before stopping any medicine.

You may use other over-the-counter and prescription drugs that decrease the amount of acid in the stomach, such as:

  • Antacids
  • H2 antagonists: famotidine (Pepsid), cimetidine (Tagamet), and nizatidine (Axid)
  • Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs): omeprazole (Prilosec), esomeprazole (Nexium), iansoprazole (Prevacid), rabeprazole (AcipHex), and pantoprazole (Protonix)

Antibiotics may be used to treat chronic gastritis caused by infection with Helicobacter pylori bacteria.

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What is the outlook (prognosis) for Gastritis?

The outlook depends on the cause, but is often very good.

What are the possible complications of Gastritis?

Blood loss and increased risk for gastric cancer can occur.

When should I contact a medical professional for Gastritis?

Call your provider if you develop:

  • Pain in the upper part of the belly or abdomen that does not go away
  • Black or tarry stools
  • Vomiting blood or coffee-ground-like material
How do I prevent Gastritis?

Avoid long-term use of substances that can irritate your stomach such as aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, or alcohol.

Digestive system
Stomach and stomach lining
What are the latest Gastritis Clinical Trials?
Effect of Helicobacter Pylori Eradication on the Reversibility of Atrophic Gastritis and Intestinal Metaplasia in Korean Patients.
Summary: Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection has been associated with a development of atrophic gastritis and intestinal metaplasia. H. pylori related atrophic gastritis and intestinal metaplasia have been regarded as pre-malignant lesion. However, the role of H. pylori eradication treatment in the reversibility of atrophic gastritis and intestinal metaplasia has not been clearly defined. The aim of ...
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The Evaluation of OLGA and OLGIM Stage Systems for Prediction of Gastric Cancer Risk and Interaction With Other Risk Factors According to Lauren's Classification
Summary: To validate OLGA and OLGIM staging system with serum pepsinogen for estimating GC risk according to Lauren's histologic classification in South Korea. Also attempted to estimate synergistic interaction among the several risk factors to help establish surveillance strategy.
What are the Latest Advances for Gastritis?
A Case Series on the Use of Dupilumab for Treatment of Refractory Eosinophilic Gastrointestinal Disorders.
Summary: A Case Series on the Use of Dupilumab for Treatment of Refractory Eosinophilic Gastrointestinal Disorders.
Upper gastrointestinal system bleedings in COVID-19 patients: Risk factors and management/a retrospective cohort study.
Summary: Upper gastrointestinal system bleedings in COVID-19 patients: Risk factors and management/a retrospective cohort study.
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Efficacy and safety of Chinese herbal medicine Qirui Weishu capsule in treating chronic non-atrophic gastritis: A multicentre, double-blind, randomized controlled clinical trial.
Summary: Efficacy and safety of Chinese herbal medicine Qirui Weishu capsule in treating chronic non-atrophic gastritis: A multicentre, double-blind, randomized controlled clinical trial.
Who are the sources who wrote this article ?

Published Date: January 14, 2021
Published By: Michael M. Phillips, MD, Emeritus Professor of Medicine, The George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

What are the references for this article ?

Feldman M, Jensen PJ, Howden CW. Gastritis and gastropathy. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 52.

Kuipers EJ. Acid peptic disease. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 130.