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Overview

Gastritis is an inflammation and injury of the stomach lining. It is a painful condition and also called dyspepsia. It can occur suddenly (acute) or gradually (chronic). Acute gastritis is more common and lasts for a short duration.

Causes of Gastritis

Gastritis can be caused by:

  • Helicobacter pylori: A bacteria that lives in the mucous lining of the stomach. Without treatment, the infection can lead to ulcers and, rarely, stomach cancer.
  • Medications: Medications like aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen
  • Pernicious anemia: A form of anemia that occurs when the stomach lacks a naturally occurring substance that is needed to properly absorb and digest vitamin B12
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Bile reflux: A backflow of bile (a liquid that is secreted by the liver and helps with digestion) into the stomach
  • Infections caused by bacteria and viruses
  • Autoimmune disorders

Symptoms of Gastritis

These can vary but the most common symptoms include:

  • Upper abdominal pain (burning, aching, gnawing or soreness)
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal bloating and fullness
  • Vomiting
  • Indigestion
  • Frequent belching

Diagnosis

Based on medical history and physical exam, the following tests can be done to diagnose gastritis

  • Upper GI Series. Abdominal X-ray with contrast to evaluate the stomach
  • Endoscopy. Procedure using a thin fiber optic tube with a camera to look at the stomach lining and take a biopsy if needed.
  • Blood test. To check for Helicobacter pylori or anemia
  • Stool test. To check for Helicobacter pylori or blood in your stool

Treatment

  • Antacids, H-2-receptor blockers, and Proton pump inhibitors: Treatment for gastritis usually involves taking antacids and other drugs like H-2-receptor blockers and dose proton pump inhibitors to reduce stomach acid. These medications will help relieve symptoms and promote healing.
  • Avoiding (NSAIDs)
  • Antibiotics. For gastritis caused by Helicobacter pylori, antibiotics are used.

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