Gastritis is when your stomach lining gets inflamed, irritated, or eroded. This can happen quickly and briefly (acute) or slowly and last a long time (chronic). About 8 people out of every 1,000 in the U.S. have it. The form of the condition where it comes on fast is often due to an infection, too much alcohol, or harsh medications. Globally, maybe half of the people with chronic gastritis get it from a bacteria called Helicobacter pylori. Your body might react this way from a weak stomach lining. Possible causes are long-term NSAID use, too much alcohol or tobacco, infections, and some immune system issues. Signs of gastritis can be upset stomach, nausea, feeling bloated, or stomach ache. Doctors use a few tests, like endoscopy, blood, or breath tests, to diagnose it. Treating gastritis means finding the cause first. Then, you might get antibiotics, acid blockers, antacids, or change some habits.

Understanding Gastritis: Definition and Causes

Gastritis is when the stomach lining gets irritated or inflamed. It can appear suddenly and heal quickly (acute), or start slowly but last longer (chronic). Acute gastritis might be triggered by an infection, too much alcohol, or certain medicines. On the other hand, chronic gastritis is often due to a bacterial infection called Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori).

Common Causes of Gastritis

Some of the most common causes of gastritis include:

  • Infections: Chronic gastritis is usually caused by a bug called H. pylori.
  • Chemicals: Drinks like alcohol, pills such as NSAIDs, and some other stuff can hurt the stomach lining.
  • Autoimmune disorders: When the immune system attacks its own stomach, it’s called chronic autoimmune gastritis.
  • Reduced blood supply: Acute gastritis might happen after serious stress or an illness, when your body sends less blood to the stomach.

Risk Factors for Developing Gastritis

Stuff that might make you more likely to get gastritis includes:

  1. Getting older can make your stomach lining thinner.
  2. Smoking and drinking too much can hurt your stomach.
  3. Taking NSAIDs often, like aspirin or ibuprofen, might irritate your stomach.
  4. High stress levels can also increase risk of gastritis.
  5. Suffering from some medical conditions can do the same, such as Crohn’s disease, HIV/AIDS, and autoimmune issues.

Key signs of acute gastritis are indigestion, nausea, bloating, and stomach pain. Symptoms for chronic gastritis might not appear at first. If you’re feeling sick and it doesn’t go away, see a doctor. They can help diagnose and treat your condition.

Diagnosing Gastritis

To find out why you have gastritis, doctors start with many tests. These tests give them a good look at your stomach’s inside. They check for issues that might be causing your gastritis.

Upper Endoscopy

An upper endoscopy is a key test. It uses a tube with a small camera to see inside your stomach. The gastritis endoscopy helps your doctor find the problem area. They might also take a small tissue sample to study closer.

Testing for H. pylori Infection

It’s also crucial to see if H. pylori bacteria is the cause. Your doctor could ask for a breath or stool test. These tests look for the bacteria. Finding H. pylori directs the next steps in testing and treatment.

Other Diagnostic Tests

Your doctor might order more tests besides the endoscopy and H. pylori tests. These could include:

  • Examining your upper digestive tract’s shape and function with an upper GI series and barium swallow
  • Blood tests to look for anemia, a problem linked with chronic gastritis
  • A test for hidden blood in your poop, which could mean internal bleeding

With all these test results, your doctor gets a clear picture of your gastritis. This helps them plan a treatment that’s just for you. It’s aimed at making you feel better and heal.

Treatments for Gastritis

The way we treat gastritis depends on the reason behind it. If the cause is the bacteria Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), we use both antibiotics and acid-reducing medicines. This helps kill the bacteria and starts healing the stomach. For other kinds of gastritis, certain drugs are used to lower the stomach’s acid. This lets the stomach lining start to heal.

Antibiotics for H. pylori Infection

Doctors might suggest antibiotics to kill H. pylori if it’s causing your gastritis. People usually take these medicines for 7 to 14 days. They are often given with PPIs, which lower acid in the stomach. Getting rid of H. pylori is really important in treating the problem.

Acid-Reducing Medications

PPIs are medicines that stop the stomach from making too much acid. They are well-known and are often used to treat gastritis. But remember, taking PPIs for a long time, especially at high doses, might increase the risk of certain bone fractures.

Other medicines, called histamine blockers or acid blockers, can also lower stomach acid. They are also helpful in treating gastritis.

Antacids and Stomach-Lining Protectants

Antacids can ease your symptoms quickly by neutralizing your stomach acid. Another type of medicine called sucralfate protects your stomach lining. This protection helps your stomach heal.

Make sure to follow your doctor’s instructions when taking your medicines. This is key to fully treat your gastritis and look into what is causing it. Sometimes, joining a clinical trial can also introduce new ways to treat gastritis.

Lifestyle and Dietary Modifications

Medicines help with gastritis, but changing what you eat and do is key too. Stop or cut down on alcohol and smoking. They hurt your stomach more. Also, use less nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to help. They can cause gastritis too.

Avoiding Alcohol and Tobacco

Reducing alcohol and tobacco is crucial. They can make your stomach lining sore. This causes more pain with gastritis. When you stop, you help your body heal.

Stopping these can lower your stomach’s inflammation, easing upset stomachs and pains.

Limiting NSAID Use

NSAIDs like ibuprofen and aspirin harm your stomach. It’s important to use them less. Talk to your doctor about other ways to manage pain. This move will speed up your stomach’s healing.

Managing Stress and Anxiety

Being too stressed or anxious makes gastritis worse. Find ways to relax, like meditation or yoga. This will help your tummy feel better.

Eating right is important too. See which foods trigger your symptoms and drop them. A good diet helps your stomach heal faster. It can stop further problems.

lifestyle changes for gastritis, treatments for gastritis

Treating Underlying Conditions

Sometimes, gastritis happens because of another health issue that needs special care. It’s very important to find and treat the main problem to control gastritis and avoid other issues.

Autoimmune Gastritis

People with autoimmune gastritis might need supplements. These include vitamin B12, folic acid, and iron. This is to fix any vitamin shortage caused by the issue. Doctors may also give medicines to calm down the immune system.

Bile Reflux Gastritis

Bile reflux is when bile moves from the small intestine into the stomach. It can lead to gastritis. Ursodiol can help lower bile reflux. But for serious cases, like surgery, may be the better solution.

Other Causes of Gastritis

Gastritis can point to other main health problems too. For example, Crohn’s disease or celiac disease. In these cases, fixing the big health problem is key. Your doctor will help find and treat what’s causing your gastritis.

Complications of Untreated Gastritis

When you don’t treat gastritis, it can cause big problems. A major issue is getting peptic ulcers. These are sores in your stomach or upper small intestine. They’re caused by ongoing irritation and inflammation.

Peptic ulcers can make you bleed inside. This can be very bad, leading to not having enough iron in your blood. And if your body lacks iron, it can cause a type of anemia.

Peptic Ulcers

Gastritis that’s not treated can lead to peptic ulcers. These sores are very painful. They can also cause bleeding, making things even worse.

This bleeding might make your iron stores low. This is how you could get iron-deficiency anemia. When you have anemia, you might feel super tired, weak, or get out of breath easily.

Stomach Bleeding and Anemia

Chronic gastritis can make your stomach bleed, too. This bleeding can make you not have enough iron. Then, you can develop anemia.

If you have anemia, you might feel very tired, weak, or have trouble breathing. So, getting treated for gastritis right away is very important.

Increased Risk of Stomach Cancer

In some cases, if gastritis isn’t treated, you might get a thinner stomach lining. This can up your chances of getting stomach cancer. So, treating gastritis is key to avoiding this very serious issue.

complications of untreated gastritis

Prevention and Self-Care Tips

Being proactive helps to keep gastritis away or deal with its symptoms. Good hygiene is important, like washing your hands often. This stops the spread of H. pylori, a common cause of gastritis.

It’s smart to know which foods or drinks make your gastritis worse. Avoiding triggers, such as spicy or fried foods, can really help. Alcohol and sugary treats should also be on your watch list.

Maintaining Good Hygiene

Keeping clean, especially your hands, stops H. pylori from passing to others. Washing hands with soap and water often reduces this risk. This bacteria is a top cause of gastritis worldwide.

Avoiding Trigger Foods and Beverages

Some foods and drinks can make gastritis symptoms worse. A study in 2020 highlighted that meat, sweets, spicy and fried foods, as well as alcohol, were bad. Knowing your triggers and avoiding these items can help.

Seeking Medical Attention for Persistent Symptoms

If your gastritis symptoms get worse or don’t go away, see a doctor. Gastritis can lead to serious health problems. For bad or ongoing gastritis, a healthcare professional is needed to diagnose and treat it correctly.

Dealing with Chronic or Recurrent Gastritis

If you have chronic or recurrent gastritis, long-term care is very important. You might need to take medicine like proton pump inhibitors or H2 blockers. These help by reducing stomach acid and healing the chronic gastritis.

See your doctor regularly to keep up with the condition. They will change your treatment if necessary. They will also help with any recurrent gastritis symptoms you might have.

Long-Term Management Strategies

People with long-term gastritis care will need some tests sometimes. These might include endoscopies or biopsies. The tests help make sure your gastritis is getting better and look for other problems.

Following your treatment plan and talking with your healthcare team are crucial. Also, changing your diet and finding ways to manage stress can really help. Lifestyle changes can make your medical treatments work better.

Follow-Up Care and Monitoring

It’s vital to have your regular check-ups if you have chronic or recurrent gastritis. These visits help your doctors see how you’re doing. They might do some tests to check on your gastritis or for other issues.

It’s important to talk openly with your healthcare team and stick to your treatment. This is how you can keep chronic gastritis treatment and recurrent gastritis management under control.

chronic gastritis treatment


Gastritis is very common and needs careful handling. It can be short-term or long-term. We need to know what’s causing it. This could be due to germs or how we live.

Treating it involves different medicines. You might take antibiotics or drugs that reduce acid. Lifestyle changes are also important. This includes staying away from certain foods and dealing with stress.

If not treated, gastritis can lead to big problems. These include stomach ulcers or even more chance of cancer. Knowing about the ways to treat gastritis and living healthily can help a lot.

It’s also important to keep seeing your doctor. They will check how you’re doing. Staying on top of this can stop gastritis from getting worse.

The main things about treating gastritis are to get help quickly. Follow what your doctor suggests and change your life for the better. Doing this will help you manage gastritis and enjoy life more.


What is gastritis?

Gastritis is a problem where the stomach’s lining gets inflamed or irritated. It might happen suddenly or slowly over time. This can make it last a short while or be a long-term issue.

What are the common causes of gastritis?

The main causes of gastritis include an H. pylori infection, using NSAIDs for a long time, too much alcohol, and autoimmune issues.

How is gastritis diagnosed?

Doctors could use an upper endoscopy, check for H. pylori, or do other tests. These tests might include an upper GI series, blood work, and stool tests to find the cause.

What are the treatments for gastritis?

Treating gastritis depends on the cause. It might need antibiotics, acid reducers, antacids, or stomach protection drugs. Changing diet and lifestyle by quitting alcohol and smoking can also be part of the treatment.

Can gastritis be prevented or self-managed?

Yes, you can prevent or manage gastritis by staying clean, avoiding certain foods and drinks, handling stress well, and not ignoring symptoms. If you feel sick, it’s important to see a doctor.

What are the potential complications of untreated gastritis?

If not treated, gastritis can lead to bad issues. This includes ulcers, bleeding in the stomach, becoming anemic, or even an increased risk of getting stomach cancer.

How is chronic or recurrent gastritis managed?

For people with long-lasting or recurring gastritis, they need to take care of it for a long time. This might mean always taking certain medicines, seeing the doctor often, and getting tests to keep a close eye on things.

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