Gastritis describes a group of conditions involving inflammation of the stomach lining. Gastritis may occur suddenly (acute), or it can occur slowly over time (gastritis). In some cases, gastritis can lead to ulcers and an increased risk of stomach cancer. For most people, it isn't serious and improves quickly with treatment.
Signs and symptoms of gastritis may include:
- Gnawing or burning pain in your upper abdomen
- Nausea or vomiting
- An early feeling of fullness in your upper abdomen when eating
Nearly everyone has experienced indigestion and stomach discomfort. Most cases are short-lived and not serious. See your doctor if symptoms persist or if you are vomiting blood or have bloody stools.
Gastritis is most often the result of infection with the same bacterium that causes most ulcers. Injury, regular use of certain pain relievers and drinking too much alcohol may also contribute to gastritis.
Your Northeast Digestive Health Center gastroenterologist may be able to diagnose gastritis following a physical exam. However, additional tests may be required to confirm or rule out other causes. This may include blood, stool or breath tests. Your doctor may order an endoscopy to examine for signs of inflammation. If a suspicious area is located, a biopsy can be taken during the procedure.
Treatment of gastritis depends on the underlying cause. Acute gastritis caused by frequent alcohol consumption or use of certain medications may be relieved by discontinuing use.
Chronic gastritis caused by bacterial infection can be treated with antibiotics. In most cases, your doctor will recommend medications that treat stomach acid to reduce symptoms and promote healing in your stomach.
- Mayo Clinic
- U.S. National Library of Medicine
- National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NIH)