- Certain medicines, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen
- Heavy alcohol drinking
- Infection of the stomach with a bacteria called Helicobacter pylori
- Autoimmune disorders (such as pernicious anemia)
- Backflow of bile into the stomach (bile reflux)
- Cocaine abuse
- Eating or drinking caustic or corrosive substances (such as poisons)
- Extreme stress
- Viral infection, such as cytomegalovirus and herpes simplex virus (more often occurs in people with a weak immune system)
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Pain in the upper part of the belly or abdomen
- Black stools
- Vomiting blood or coffee-ground like material
- H2 antagonists: famotidine (Pepsid), cimetidine (Tagamet), ranitidine (Zantac), and nizatidine (Axid)
- Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs): omeprazole (Prilosec), esomeprazole (Nexium), iansoprazole (Prevacid), rabeprazole (AcipHex), and pantoprazole (Protonix)
- Pain in the upper part of the belly or abdomen that does not go away
- Black or tarry stools
- Vomiting blood or coffee-ground-like material
Gastritis occurs when the lining of the stomach becomes inflamed or swollen.
Gastritis can last for only a short time (acute gastritis). It may also linger for months to years (chronic gastritis).
The most common causes of gastritis are:
Less common causes are:
Trauma or a severe, sudden illness such as major surgery, kidney failure, or being placed on a breathing machine may cause gastritis.
Many people with gastritis do not have any symptoms.
Symptoms you may notice are:
If gastritis is causing bleeding from the lining of the stomach, symptoms may include:
Exams and Tests
Tests that may be needed are:
Treatment depends on what is causing the problem. Some of the causes will go away over time.
You may need to stop taking aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, or other medicines that may be causing gastritis. Always talk to your health care provider before stopping any medicine.
You may use other over-the-counter and prescription drugs that decrease the amount of acid in the stomach, such as:
Antibiotics may be used to treat chronic gastritis caused by infection with Helicobacter pylori bacteria.
The outlook depends on the cause, but is often very good.
Blood loss and increased risk of gastric cancer can occur.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call your health care provider if you develop:
Avoid long-term use of substances that can irritate your stomach such as aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, or alcohol.
Kuipers E, Blaser MJ. Acid peptic disease. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 141.
Lee EL, Feldman M. Gastritis and gastropathies. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2010:chap 51.
- Review date:
- November 01, 2015
- Reviewed by:
- Todd Eisner, MD, private practice specializing in gastroenterology, and affiliate assistant professor, Florida Atlantic University School of Medicine, Boca Raton, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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