Gastritis - Describe Your Experience

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Gastritis facts

  • Gastritis is inflammation of the stomach lining and is usually termed acute or chronic gastritis.
  • The two major causes of gastritis are 1) a bacterium named Helicobacter pylori or H. pylori and 2) nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). However there are many other causes like other infectious agents, autoimmune problems, diseases like Crohn's disease, sarcoidosis, and isolated granulomatosis gastritis.
  • Although many individuals with gastritis may have no symptoms, both acute and chronic gastritis may have symptoms of
    • abdominal pain,
    • nausea,
    • vomiting, and
    • occasionally, belching, bloating, loss of appetite and indigestion.
  • Gastritis can be diagnosed by the patient's symptoms and history (for example, NSAID and/or alcohol consumption), or by breath, blood, stool, immunological, and biopsy tests to detect H. pylori and other tests such as endoscopy or radiologic studies demonstrate mucosal changes.
  • The treatment for gastritis varies according to the cause.
    • H. pylori usually is treated with a combination of antibiotics.
    • NSAID's are treated by stopping the drug and using antacids, histamine blockers or proton pump inhibitors or PPIs, for example, omeprazole (Prilosec, Prilosec OTC), omeprazole (Prilosec, Prilosec OTC), rabeprazole (Aciphex), rabeprazole (Aciphex), esomeprazole (Nexium), and Zegerid, a rapid release form of omeprazole.
    • Other less common causes may be treated similarly, but do not treat the underlying cause.
  • Home remedies (for example, over-the-counter antacids or histamine blockers) for gastritis usually do not treat the underlying cause, but reduce symptoms.
  • Foods and chemical irritants that cause or aggravate gastritis symptoms should be reduced or stopped all together. For example:
    • Stop cigarette smoking.
    • Avoid drinking excessive amounts of alcohol.
    • Avoid caffeinated, decaffeinated, and carbonated dinks; and fruit juices that contain citric acid, for example, grapefruit, orange, pineapple, etc.
    • Avoid high-fat foods.
  • The growth of H. pylori may be stopped by a diet rich in fiber, and foods that contain flavonoids, for example:
    • Certain teas
    • Onions
    • Garlic
    • Berries
    • Celery
    • Kale
    • Broccoli
    • Parsley
    • Thyme
    • Soy foods
    • Legumes
  • Complications from acute gastritis are rare.
  • Complications from chronic gastritis include peptic ulcer, bleeding ulcers, anemia, gastric cancers, MALT lymphoma, renal problems, strictures, bowel obstruction, or even death.
  • People with acute gastritis usually recover completely with no complications.
  • Chronic gastritis may have a range of outcomes from good (early treatment) to poor if serious complications develop.
  • If underlying causes of gastritis (for example, alcohol or NSAID's usage) are treated or not used, gastritis also may be prevented.
  • Other gastritis prevention techniques include:
  • To prevent infectious causes of gastritis practice good hand washing techniques, for example, wash the hands thoroughly and frequently.
  • To reduce the risk of gastritis avoid situations where you are exposed to chemicals, radiation, or toxins.
Return to Gastritis

See what others are saying

Comment from: Mike, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: May 02

Like one or two others I have both gastritis and diverticulitis. My stomach is permanently swollen and after a small meal I feel like I'm going to burst. It's hard to find foods that my stomach does not react to but soft foods like porridge, scrambled eggs, soup, and well cooked rice seem to be best. When at my worst I just have to stop eating and then naturally lose weight. I am almost constantly hungry. I take 30 mg lansoprazole each morning and 10 mg metoclopramide twice a day to help my stomach empty. All this follows 8 cycles of chemotherapy for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma which thankfully is quiet after eight years. Daily life is a torment as there is so much I would like to be able to do but I'm so tired all the time yet I find it difficult to stay asleep at night.

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Comment from: Jvc, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 17

I have been diagnosed with gastritis several years now. Mostly it is a mild pain in central chest, around bra-line, both sides. About a month ago I woke up with what I can only describe as screaming pain on my upper right rib. Neither Aleve nor Advil gave me any relief. It would ease up, then I would have it again in a day or two. Then it became almost every day. I also had a breakout of 5 lesions on my back, which we thought were just bug bites. When I called my doctor she thought it could be shingles, which made sense. But when I saw her, she said the breakouts were atypical for shingles. She put me on gabapentin for nerve pain treatment, and I just underwent a chest x-ray and sonogram of the abdomen. The technician said I would probably need an endoscopy to rule out stones in the ducts. The pain has dulled on the right side, but I am feeling the gastritis symptoms across my chest more. I have to call the doctor since I haven't heard from her.

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