February 7, 2017

Gastritis is inflammation of the lining of the stomach – the gastric mucosa. Gastritis and an ulcer are conditions that affect the stomach and small intestine, and they share many symptoms, such as abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite and weight loss. There are many differences, though. Gastritis and an ulcer both inflame the stomach lining, but gastritis is a general inflammation, and an ulcer is a patch of eroded stomach lining. Though gastritis and an ulcer share symptoms, an intense, localized pain is much more common with an ulcer, and an ulcer also carries the risk of bleeding, cancer and eventual stomach perforation. Doctors use a variety of techniques to diagnose each specific ailment, and the methods of treatment vary as well.

There are two main types of gastritis: acute and chronic.

  • Acute gastritis – Acute gastritis can cause pain and swelling in the stomach but generally does not last for a long period of time – it stops within a few days.
  • Chronic gastritis – Chronic gastritis is just that – chronic. This refers to it lasting for a long period of time. Someone may have chronic gastritis and not even realize it because symptoms are dull and not severe.

Gastritis can be erosive or nonerosive –

  • Erosive gastritis can cause the stomach lining to wear away, causing erosions—shallow breaks in the stomach lining—or ulcers—deep sores in the stomach lining.
  • Nonerosive gastritis causes inflammation in the stomach lining; however, erosions or ulcers do not accompany nonerosive gastritis.

Depending on the severity of the condition, the mucosal cells may only be partially affected or they may be completely damaged or eroded.


Gastritis is inflammation of the lining of the stomach.


The stomach lining is usually strong enough to withstand acidic and spicy foods, alcohol and more. However, irritation may be caused by excessive alcohol use, chronic vomiting, stress or the use of certain medications such as aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs. Gastritis may also be brought on by –

  • Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) – A bacterium that lives in the mucous lining of the stomach. Without treatment, the infection can lead to ulcers and, in some people, to stomach cancer.
  • Pernicious anaemia – A form of anaemia that occurs when the stomach lacks a naturally occurring substance (intrinsic factor) needed to properly absorb and digest vitamin B12.
  • Bile reflux – A backflow of the contents of the duodenum up into the stomach, where bile in the intestinal fluids may irritate the stomach lining.
  • Infections caused by bacteria and viruses
  • Crohn’s disease, which causes inflammation and irritation of any part of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
  • Sarcoidosis, a disease that causes inflammation that will not go away. The chronic inflammation causes tiny clumps of abnormal tissue to form in various organs in the body. The disease typically starts in the lungs, skin, and lymph nodes.
  • Allergies to food, such as cow’s milk and soy, especially in children.

If gastritis is left untreated, it can lead to severe loss of blood, or in some cases it can increase the risk of developing stomach cancer.

Risk Factors

  • Infection with H. pylori
  • Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)
  • Any condition that requires relief from chronic pain using NSAIDS, such as chronic low back pain, fibromyalgia, or arthritis
  • Alcoholism
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Older age
  • Herpes simplex virus or cytomegalovirus
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Coffee and acidic beverages
  • Eating or drinking caustic or corrosive substances (such as poisons)
  • Trauma (for example, radiation treatments or having swallowed a foreign object)


Symptoms of gastritis vary among individuals, and in many people there are no symptoms. However, the most common symptoms include –

  • Nausea or recurrent upset stomach
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Indigestion
  • Burning or gnawing feeling in the stomach between meals or at night
  • Hiccups
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting blood or coffee ground-like material
  • Black, tarry stools


  • Peptic ulcers may develop when stomach acid damages the lining of the stomach or the first part of the small intestine (called the duodenum). These ulcers can usually be treated with lifestyle changes and medication.
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency and pernicious anemia
  • Chronic gastritis increases the chance of developing benign, or noncancerous, and malignant, or cancerous, growths in the stomach lining.


Antacids, such as Alka-Seltzer, Maalox, Mylanta, Rolaids, and Riopan. Many brands use different combinations of three basic salts—magnesium, aluminum, and calcium—along with hydroxide or bicarbonate ions to neutralize stomach acid. Antacids, however, can have side effects. Magnesium salt can lead to diarrhea, and aluminum salt can cause constipation. Magnesium and aluminum salts are often combined in a single product to balance these effects. Calcium carbonate antacids, such as Tums, Titralac, and Alka-2, can cause constipation.

H2 blockers, such as cimetidine (Tagamet HB), famotidine (Pepcid AC), nizatidine (Axid AR), and ranitidine (Zantac 75). H2 blockers decrease acid production. They are available in both over-the-counter and prescription strengths.

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) include omeprazole (Prilosec, Zegerid), lansoprazole (Prevacid), dexlansoprazole (Dexilant), pantoprazole (Protonix), rabeprazole (AcipHex), and esomeprazole (Nexium). PPIs decrease acid production more effectively than H2 blockers. All of these medications are available by prescription. Omeprazole and lansoprazole are also available in over-the-counter strength.

Lifestyle – The treatment for gastritis that is caused by irritants is to stop using them. These include –

  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco
  • Acidic beverages, such as coffee (both caffeinated and decaffeinated), carbonated beverages, and fruit juices with citric acid
  • NSAIDS, such as aspirin and ibuprofen. Switch to other pain relievers (like acetaminophen).

These steps may also help:

  • Eat a fiber-rich diet.
  • Foods containing flavonoids like apples, celery, cranberries (including cranberry juice), onions, garlic, and tea may stop the growth of H. pylori.
  • Avoid high-fat foods. In animal studies, high-fat foods increase inflammation in the stomach lining.

Alternative Treatment

Multivitamin – A multivitamin daily, containing the antioxidant vitamins A, C, E, the B vitamins, and trace minerals, such as magnesium, calcium, zinc, and selenium.

Omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish oil, may help decrease inflammation. Fish oil may increase the risk of bleeding.

Glutamine – The amino acid Glutamine helps with maintenance of gut barrier function.

Probiotic supplement or “friendly” bacteria may help maintain a balance in the digestive system between good and harmful bacteria, such as H. pylori. Probiotics may help suppress H. pylori infection, and may also help reduce side effects from taking antibiotics, the treatment for an H. pylori infection.

Vitamin C – Studies show that pharmacological doses of vitamin C may improve the effectiveness of H. pylori-eradication therapy.

Mastic standardized extract. Mastic is a traditional treatment for peptic ulcers and inhibits H. pylori in test tubes.

Peppermint help relieve symptoms of peptic ulcer.

DGL-licorice may help protect against stomach damage from NSAIDs.

Cranberry – Some preliminary research suggests cranberry may inhibit H. pylori growth in the stomach.

Acupuncture may help reduce stress and improve overall digestive function.


Reference –