Gastritis: NIDDK


Article title: Gastritis: NIDDK
Main condition: Gastritis
Conditions: Gastritis
Gastritis, or dyspepsia, is an inflammation of the stomach lining. Some people have gastritis after drinking too much alcohol, eating too much, eating spicy food, or smoking. Others develop gastritis after prolonged use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or infection with bacteria such as Escherichia coli, Salmonella, or Helicobacter pylori. Sometimes gastritis develops after major surgery, traumatic injury, burns, or severe infections. Certain diseases, such as pernicious anemia, autoimmune disorders, and chronic bile reflux, can cause gastritis as well.

The most common symptoms are stomach upset or pain. You may also experience belching, abdominal bloating, nausea, and vomiting or a feeling of fullness or of burning in your stomach. If you see blood in your vomit or stool, your stomach lining may be bleeding a bit.

Gastritis is diagnosed through one or more medical tests:

  • Gastroscopy. The doctor eases a gastroscope, a thin tube containing a tiny camera, through your mouth and down into your stomach to look at the stomach lining. The doctor will check for inflammation and may remove a tiny sample of tissue for tests. This procedure to remove a tissue sample is called a biopsy.
  • Blood test. The doctor may check your red blood cell count to see whether you have anemia, which means that you do not have enough red blood cells. Anemia can cause gastritis.
  • Stool test. This test checks for the presence of blood in your stool, a sign of gastritis.

Treatment usually involves taking antacids and other drugs to reduce stomach acid and thereby help relieve symptoms and promote healing. (Stomach acid irritates the inflamed tissue in the stomach.) You will also need to avoid any foods, beverages, or medicines that cause symptoms. If smoking is the problem, you should quit.

If your gastritis is related to an illness or infection, that problem will have to be treated as well. For example, the doctor will prescribe antibiotics to clear up a bacterial infection or vitamin B12 to treat anemia. Once the underlying problem disappears, the gastritis usually does, too. Talk to your doctor before stopping any medicine or starting any gastritis treatment on your own.

Additional Information on Gastritis

The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse collects resource information on digestive diseases for the Combined Health Information Database (CHID), which is produced by health-related agencies of the Federal Government. This database provides the titles, abstracts, and availability of health information and health education resources.

To give you the most up-to-date resources, information specialists at the clearinghouse created an automatic CHID search. To obtain this information, you may view the results of the automatic search on gastritis.

Or, if you wish to perform your own search of the database, you may access the CHID Online web site and search CHID yourself.

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse

2 Information Way
Bethesda, MD 20892-3570

The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC) is a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). NIDDK is part of the National Institutes of Health under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Established in 1980, the clearinghouse provides information about digestive diseases to people with digestive disorders and to their families, health care professionals, and the public. NDDIC answers inquiries; develops, reviews, and distributes publications; and works closely with professional and patient organizations and Government agencies to coordinate resources about digestive diseases.

Publications produced by the clearinghouse are carefully reviewed for scientific accuracy, content, and readability.

This e-text is not copyrighted. The clearinghouse encourages users of this e-pub to duplicate and distribute as many copies as desired.

NIH Publication No. 00-4764

e-text posted: August 2000

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