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by Jones P


Gastric erosions are spots of damage on the lining of the stomach.


The lining should be able to protect itself from acid of the stomach. Injury or illness makes it hard for the lining to work as it should. This can lead to the erosions. Injury or illness may be caused by:

  • Medicine such as NSAIDs
  • Alcohol
  • Infection by virus
  • Medical procedure such as radiation

Risk Factors

Factors that increase the risk of gastric erosion include:

  • Alcohol use disorder
  • Regular use of NSAIDs such as aspirin or ibuprofen
  • Disorders or treatment that lower the immune system
  • Radiation therapy
  • Recent viral infection such as H. pylori


Minor erosions may not cause symptoms. Others may cause:

  • Dyspepsia
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Blood in vomit
  • Blood in stool


You will be asked about your symptoms and past health. A physical exam will be done. A scope will be needed to see damage to the lining of the stomach. It is done with a test called an endoscopy.


The cause may need to be treated. For example, a medicine may need to be stopped. Most erosions will heal on their own once the cause is removed.

Medicine may be needed to decrease the acid in the stomach. It will help the area heal faster. It may also ease symptoms.

Surgery may be needed if there is severe bleeding.


Not all gastric ulcers can be prevented. Your doctor may give you medicine to lower stomach acid if you are at high risk of erosion.


American College of Gastroenterology  http://patients.gi.org 

American Gastroenterological Association  http://www.gastro.org 


Canadian Association of Gastroenterology  https://www.cag-acg.org 

Canadian Digestive Health Foundation  http://www.cdhf.ca 


Acute gastritis. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:  https://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115779/Acute-gastritis . Updated June 5, 2017. Accessed May 5, 2019.

Chronic gastritis. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:  https://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T170655/Chronic-gastritis . Updated September 24, 2018. Accessed May 5, 2019.

Erosive Gastritis. Merck Professional Manual. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/gastrointestinal-disorders/gastritis-and-peptic-ulcer-disease/erosive-gastritis. Reviewed July 2018. Accessed May 5, 2019.

Gastritis. National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive, and Kidney disorders. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/gastritis. Reviewed July 2015. Accessed May 5, 2019.

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