Gastritis describes any condition that causes inflammation to the stomach lining. When gastritis appears suddenly, it is called acute gastritis, but when it develops slowly over the course of time, it is considered chronic gastritis.
The same type of bacteria that causes many stomach ulcers can also cause gastritis. While gastritis can be serious in some cases, it does usually get better with treatment and does not often cause any major complications.
Should I see a doctor if I experience gastritis?
Most people have an upset stomach from time-to-time, and symptoms usually resolve on their own, but if you have symptoms of gastritis for a week or longer, you should see a doctor to determine the cause. If you are vomiting blood or have blood in your stools, it is important to seek medical care as soon as possible.
What causes gastritis?
There are several potential causes of gastritis. For example, Helicobacter pylori, which is one of the most common infections across the world, can cause gastritis in some people, but others who have this infection never develop gastritis. Regularly using pain relievers like aspirin and ibuprofen can cause both chronic and acute gastritis. Other risk factors for gastritis include alcohol abuse, severe stress, and being of older age. Autoimmune diseases, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and Crohn’s disease can also cause gastritis.
How do doctors treat gastritis?
Treatment for gastritis depends upon its cause. Sometimes, the solution is as simple as discontinuing the use of pain medications that have contributed to gastritis. In other cases, you may need antibiotics to kill an H. pylori infection. Doctors may also prescribe medications to reduce or block stomach acid production so your stomach can heal, or you may take an antacid to neutralize stomach acid.
- “I had a burning pain in the upper portion of my stomach, but it usually got better when I ate something.”
- “I felt extremely full, especially in my upper abdomen, after finishing a meal.”
- “I felt like I had symptoms of indigestion, and I was nauseous all the time.”