Gastritis is an inflammation (swelling) of the lining of the stomach.
There are many causes of gastritis.
The most common are:
- Erosion (loss) of the protective layer of the stomach lining
- Infection of the stomach with Helicobacter pylori bacteria
- Medications (such as aspirin or anti-inflammatory drugs)
Less common causes are:
- Autoimmune disorders (such as pernicious anemia)
- Backflow of bile into the stomach (bile reflux)
- Eating or drinking caustic or corrosive substances (such as poisons)
- Excess gastric acid secretion (such as from stress)
- Viral infection, especially in people with a weak immune system
- Abdominal pain
- Abdominal indigestion
- Dark stools
- Loss of appetite
- Vomiting blood or coffee-ground like material
Tests vary depending on the specific cause. An X-ray of the upper digestive tract, EGD, or other tests may be advised.
Treatment depends on the specific cause. Some of the causes will disappear over time. Medications to decrease stomach acid release may be recommended.
The outlook depends on the cause, but is usually good.
See the specific types of gastritis.
Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you develop gastritis symptoms.
Avoid long-term use of irritants (such as aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, or alcohol).
Reviewed By: Jenifer K. Lehrer, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Frankford-Torresdale Hospital, Jefferson Health System, Philadelphia, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.