Gastritis is inflammation of the stomach lining. There are a variety of different conditions that are possible causes of gastritis, which often causes symptoms such as indigestion, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, ulcers, and more.
Foods that can irritate the stomach lining and cause inflammation include:
- Spicy foods
- High-fat foods (high-fat meats, full-fat dairy products)
- Greasy foods
- Fried foods
- Very acidic foods and beverages (ex. coffee, citrus fruits and juices, tomatoes, and colas)
- Carbonated beverages
In addition, large portion sizes can also irritate the stomach lining and lead to gastritis.
Other common causes of gastritis include:
- Infection with H. pylori bacteria
- Long-term contact with substances that irritate the stomach lining (reactive gastritis)
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Bile reflux (backward flow of bile from the small intestine to the stomach, often caused by certain types of bariatric surgery
- The immune system attacks healthy cells in the stomach lining (autoimmune gastritis)
- Serious health problems that reduce blood flow to the stomach lining
Less common causes of gastritis include:
- Celiac disease
- Radiation therapy
- Diseases that cause inflammation in the digestive tract, such as Crohn's disease and sarcoidosis
- Food allergies
- Infections with viruses, parasites, fungi, and bacteria other than H. pylori, frequently seen in people with weakened immune systems
- Portal hypertension
What Are Symptoms of Gastritis?
Gastritis can cause symptoms of indigestion, which may include:
- Pain or discomfort in the upper abdomen
- Feeling full during a meal or too full after a meal
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
Gastritis can also cause erosions or ulcers, which may cause the stomach lining to bleed. See a doctor right away if you have symptoms of bleeding in the stomach such as:
- Cramps, discomfort, or pain in the abdomen
- Black or tarry stool
- Red or maroon blood mixed with stool
- Shortness of breath
- Red blood in vomit or vomit that looks like coffee grounds
How Is Gastritis Diagnosed?
When gastritis is suspected, your doctor will start by taking a patient history and performing a physical examination for a diagnosis. Tests used to determine the cause of gastritis include:
- Upper GI endoscopy
- Upper GI series
- Blood tests
- Stool tests
- To check for H. pylori infection
- To check for blood in the stool
- Urea breath test to check for H. pylori infection
What Is the Treatment for Gastritis?
There are many different treatments used to manage the symptoms of gastritis, as treatment depends on the cause.
- Treatment for H. pylori gastritis includes:
- Treatment for reactive gastritis includes:
- Stopping the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or taking a lower dose
- Taking a PPI along with NSAIDs
- Ursodiol, if caused by bile reflux
- Surgery to stop the flow of bile into the stomach.
- Treatment for autoimmune gastritis includes:
- Treatment for gastritis due to other causes may include:
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