Gastritis is an inflammation of the stomach lining. In some cases, gastritis can lead to ulcers]]> in the lining of the stomach. Gastritis can be:
- Acute—comes on suddenly and lasts briefly
- Chronic—either long lasting or recurrent
Causes of gastritis include:
- Drugs (such as aspirin]]> and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications [NSAIDs], as well as steroid drugs)
- Severe illness, which can occur from:
- Viral infection (for example, ]]>herpes]]> or ]]>cytomegalovirus]]> )
- Bacterial infection, such as Helicobacter pylori
- Fungal infection
- Injury to the blood vessels that bring blood to the stomach
- Excess production of stomach acid
- Reflux of bile into the stomach, especially after surgery of the bile system
- ]]>Crohn's disease]]>
- Atrophy of the lining of the stomach (atrophic gastritis), usually associated with older age
- ]]>Pernicious anemia]]> (causes autoimmune gastritis)
- ]]>Radiation treatment]]>
- Swallowing caustic substances
Factors that increase your chance of gastritis include:
- Age 60 and older
- NSAID use
- Heavy alcohol use
- Pernicious anemia
- Diseases of the lymph system
Severe illness, such as can occur with:
- Head injury
- Respiratory failure
- Kidney failure]]>
- Liver failure
- Stomach pain
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Bloody or black vomit
- Dark black, tarry stools
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
Tests may include:
- Upper GI Series (Barium Swallow)]]> —a series of x-rays of the upper digestive system taken after drinking a barium solution
- ]]>Endoscopy]]> —a thin, lighted tube inserted down the throat and into the stomach to examine the inside of the stomach
- ]]>Biopsy]]> —removal of a sample of stomach tissue to examine in a lab
- Blood, breath, or stool tests—to check for infection with the bacteria Helicobacter pylori
Upper GI Endoscopy
Treatment may include:
- H 2 blockers
- Proton pump inhibitors
- Antibiotics to treat Helicobacter pylori infection
If you are diagnosed with gastritis, follow your doctor's instructions .
To help prevent gastritis:
- Avoid alcohol]]> .
- If you smoke, ]]>quit]]> .
- Ask your doctor if any of the medications you are taking might be irritating your stomach. You might need to change your current medicines. You may need to take another medication to coat and protect your stomach lining.
- If you notice that certain foods are irritating, stop eating them. Spicy food may cause irritation. Some people feel better when they eat a bland diet.
The American Gastroenterological Association
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disorders
The Canadian Association of Gastroenterology
Conn HF, Rakel RE. Conn's Current Therapy 2001 . 53rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Company; 2001.
Mulley AG, Goroll AH. Primary Care Medicine . 4th ed. Lippincott, Williams, and Wilkins; 2000.
Wyngaarden JB. Cecil Textbook of Medicine . 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Company; 2000.
Last reviewed September 2009 by ]]>Daus Mahnke, MD]]>
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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