Gastritis

Comprehensive and compassionate gastritis care.

Gastritis is an inflammation of the lining of your stomach. There are two main forms of gastritis: acute and chronic. Acute gastritis occurs suddenly and lasts only for a short period, while chronic gastritis can last for months or years.

Gastritis can sometimes lead to other complications and conditions without treatment. If you have gastritis, our team of gastrointestinal specialists is here to provide the expert care you need. 

Gastritis causes and risk factors

Gastritis involves your stomach’s protective lining becoming weakened, which allows the stomach’s digestive juices to damage the lining and cause inflammation. This can result from a wide range of issues, including:

  • Infection with Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), a bacterium that lives in the stomach lining 
  • Regular use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin, ibuprofen (such as Advil or Motrin) and naproxen (such as Aleve or Naprosyn) 
  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol use 
  • Severe stress 
  • Older age 
  • Immune disorders, which can lead to the body’s immune system attacking the cells that make up the stomach’s lining
  • Other conditions, such as HIV or AIDS, Crohn’s disease or infections with bacteria or viruses

Gastritis symptoms

You may not notice any symptoms if you have gastritis. However, some warning signs of the condition include: 

  • Decreased appetite
  • Feeling bloated or full after only eating a small amount of food
  • Feeling excessively tired
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Pain in the upper belly

Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Belly pain that doesn’t go away or gets worse
  • Vomiting blood
  • Black or tarry bowel movements
  • Weight loss without trying

How we test for gastritis

Depending on your symptoms, how long you’ve had them and other factors, your doctor may order one or more tests to determine whether you have gastritis. These tests include: 

  • Upper endoscopy (also known as esophagogastroduodenoscopy, or EGD): This test involves inserting a thin, flexible tube with a camera on the end called an endoscope down your throat and into the stomach to see if there is any irritation. Your doctor may also take a small sample of the lining for testing to determine the cause of any irritation.
  • H. pylori infection tests, such as blood tests, breath tests and stool tests.
  • Barium swallow, in which you’ll swallow a special fluid that contains barium, which shows up more easily on X-rays. Your doctor will use the barium swallow to see how fluid moves through your stomach.
  • Blood tests, which we use to check for a lack of healthy red blood cells (anemia) that can occur if you have gastritis.

Gastritis treatment options

Your gastritis treatment plan will likely depend on what caused you to develop the condition in the first place. If you have an H. pylori infection, we can treat it with antibiotics, which you’ll usually take for two weeks. If your gastritis is related to excessive use of NSAIDs, your doctor will recommend that you stop taking these medications.

You may also need medications to help lower the production of acid in your stomach to reduce your risk for gastritis in the future.

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