Gastritis: Inflammation of the Stomach Lining

What Is Gastritis?

stomach inflammation

Gastritis refers to painful inflammation of the stomach lining. This inflammation can be a reaction to certain foods or drinks, but can also be caused by underlying conditions. It is a very common condition, affecting more than 200,000 new patients yearly in the U.S. alone. It is more likely to affect individuals as they get older and if left untreated, can lead to serious digestive complications.

Causes

  • Food allergies
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Excessive caffeine intake
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Certain bacteria
    • Helicobacter pylori
  • Stress
  • Pain relievers
  • Bile reflux
  • Chronic vomiting
  • Abdominal trauma
  • Connective tissue disorders
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Ulcers

Types

Acute

Acute gastritis comes on quickly and is usually the result of stress, infections, or abdominal trauma.

Chronic

Chronic gastritis refers to ongoing or recurrent bouts of stomach inflammation that are typically caused by underlying conditions like connective tissue disorders or Crohn’s Disease.

Symptoms

  • Abdominal pain/burning
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Bloating
  • Belching
  • Black stool
  • Feeling full after eating a small amount
  • Poor appetite
  • Weight loss

stomach inflammation causes

Diagnosis

Your primary care physician can diagnose gastritis based on your medical history and reported symptoms. They will likely order blood tests and abdominal imaging to rule out certain underlying conditions that can cause stomach inflammation. They may also refer you to a gastroenterologist, a doctor specializing in digestive issues, who can do more thorough diagnostic testing.

Treatment

Medications like antacids are the most common treatment for mild to moderate cases of gastritis. Treating more severe or chronic gastritis usually depends on what the underlying cause is. Treating or managing the underlying condition that has caused the stomach inflammation can help resolve the gastritis. Avoiding certain triggers like alcohol and certain foods can also help resolve the inflammation.

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