by Carson-DeWitt R


Gastritis is a group of medical issues that have inflammation of the lining of the stomach. It may start suddenly or appear slowly over time. Gastritis is often easily treated. Some may develop ulcers and other problems due to damage to lining of stomach.


The inflammation of gastritis is most often the result of infection with the same bacterium that causes most stomach ulcers. Regular use of certain pain relievers and drinking too much alcohol can also contribute to gastritis.

Causes of acute gastritis include any of the following:

Causes of chronic gastritis include any of the following:

  • Bacterial infection, such as Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori)
  • Viral infection
  • Fungal infection
  • NSAID use
  • Alcohol use disorder
  • Reflux of bile into the stomach
  • Autoimmune diseases such as Crohn disease or sarcoidosis
  • Pernicious anemia —a cause of autoimmune gastritis
  • Radiation therapy
  • Swallowing caustic substances

Risk Factors

Factors that may increase your chance of acute gastritis include:

  • NSAID use
  • Excess alcohol use
  • Head injury
  • Surgery
  • Respiratory failure
  • Kidney failure
  • Liver failure
  • Stress

Factors that increase your chance of getting chronic gastritis include:

  • H. pylori infection
  • NSAID use
  • Excessive alcohol intake


Gastritis may not cause any symptoms. Those that do have symptoms may have:

  • Abdominal burning and pain
  • Indigestion
  • Acid reflux
  • Burping
  • Bloating
  • Loss of appetite
  • Feeling full in upper belly after eating
  • 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 past health. A physical exam will be done.

Tests may include:

  • Upper GI series —x-rays with a special dye to highlight abnormal areas (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
  • Biopsy —a sample of tissue is removed and examined in a lab
  • Blood, breath, or stool tests—to check for infection with the bacteria H. pylori
Upper GI Endoscopy
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Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Options may include:


Medicines may help to relieve symptoms. Some can also help to heal the stomach lining. Medicine can be available over the counter or by prescription. Your doctor may recommend:

  • Antacids
  • H2 blockers
  • Proton pump inhibitors
  • Antibiotics if an infection is present or possible

Treatment may also include stopping or changing medicine that is causing problems. Your doctor can find an alternative if needed.


To help reduce the chances 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 the chances of H. pylori infection:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. Wash your hands before eating or preparing food.
  • Drink water from a safe source.

If you smoke, look for ways to quit . Your doctor may recommend some tools to help you.

Avoid alcohol. If you do drink, drink in moderation. Moderation is 1 drink or less a day for women and 2 drinks a day or less for men.


American College of Gastroenterology 

American Gastroenterological Association 


Canadian Association of Gastroenterology 

Canadian Digestive Health Foundation 


Acute gastritis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Accessed January 26, 2021.

Chronic gastritis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Accessed January 26, 2021.

Gastritis. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: Accessed January 26, 2021.

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