Important information regarding your health

Gastritis is a condition in which the stomach lining – known as the mucosa – is inflamed. Gastritis may be either acute or chronic. Sudden, severe inflammation of the stomach lining is called acute gastritis. Inflammation that lasts for a prolonged time is called chronic gastritis. If chronic gastritis is not treated, it may last for years or even a lifetime.

Gastritis can be caused by excessive alcohol use, chronic vomiting, stress, or the use of certain medications such as aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs. It can also be caused by a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori). H. pylori infection is the most common cause of chronic, non-erosive gastritis. Although not definitively known, the H. pylori bacterium is thought to be primarily transmitted from person to person, in areas with poor sanitation. It may be transmitted through contaminated food or water.

Erosive gastritis is a type of gastritis that often does not cause significant inflammation but can wear away the stomach lining causing bleeding, erosion, or ulcers. Erosive gastritis may be either acute or chronic. The most common cause of erosive gastritis is prolonged use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin and ibuprofen. Other agents that can cause erosive gastritis include alcohol, cocaine, and radiation.

Common Symptoms:

Many people with gastritis do not have any symptoms, but some people experience the following symptoms, called dyspepsia:

• Upper abdominal discomfort or pain
• Nausea
• Vomiting

Erosive gastritis may cause ulcers or erosions in the stomach lining that can bleed. Signs of bleeding in the stomach include the following:

• Blood in vomit
• Black stools
• Red blood in the stool

Most forms of chronic, nonspecific gastritis do not cause symptoms. However, chronic gastritis is a risk factor for peptic ulcer disease, gastric polyps, and benign and malignant gastric tumors.