In this Article
- Gastritis facts*
- What is gastritis?
- What causes gastritis?
- What are the symptoms of gastritis?
- What are the complications of gastritis?
- How is gastritis diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for gastritis?
- Find a local Gastroenterologist in your town
What causes gastritis?
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection causes most cases of chronic nonerosive gastritis. H. pylori are bacteria that infect the stomach lining. H. pylori are primarily transmitted from person to person. In areas with poor sanitation, H. pylori may be transmitted through contaminated food or water.
In industrialized countries like the United States, 20 to 50 percent of the population may be infected with H. pylori.1 Rates of H. pylori infection are higher in areas with poor sanitation and higher population density. Infection rates may be higher than 80 percent in some developing countries.1
The most common cause of erosive gastritis - acute and chronic - is prolonged use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin and ibuprofen. Other agents that can cause erosive gastritis include alcohol, cocaine, and radiation.
Traumatic injuries, critical illness, severe burns, and major surgery can also cause acute erosive gastritis. This type of gastritis is called stress gastritis.
Less common causes of erosive and nonerosive gastritis include
- autoimmune disorders in which the immune system attacks healthy cells in the stomach lining
- some digestive diseases and disorders, such as Crohn's disease and pernicious anemia
- viruses, parasites, fungi, and bacteria other than H. pylori
1Lee Y, Liou J, Wu M, Wu C, Lin J. Review: eradication of Helicobacter pylori to prevent gastroduodenal diseases: hitting more than one bird with the same stone. Therapeutic Advances in Gastroenterology. 2008;1(2):111–120.
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