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Gastritis Symptoms, Diet, Causes, Treatment

What are the symptoms of gastritis?

Many people with gastritis do not have symptoms. The condition is diagnosed only when samples of the stomach mucosa are examined for other suspected diseases. However, when gastritis symptoms occur, the most common symptoms include the following:

  • Abdominal pain (intermittent or constant burning, gripping or gnawing pain) often accompanied by nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Bloating
  • Burping
  • Belching

These last four symptoms come and go over time especially with chronic gastritis. Indigestion (dyspepsia) is another term that encompasses this cluster of symptoms.

What causes gastritis?

A major cause of both acute and chronic gastritis is infection of the stomach mucosa by a bacterial species named Helicobacter pylori. Usually, this bacterium first infects the stomach antrum (stomach mucosa without acid-producing cells) acutely and may progress to infect most or all of the stomach's mucosa over time (chronic gastritis) and remain there for years. This infection generates an initial strong inflammatory response and eventually, a long-term chronic inflammation with intestinal cell changes may develop. Another major cause of acute and chronic gastritis is the use (and overuse) of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

However, there are many other causes of gastritis; the following is a list of common causes of both acute and chronic gastritis; chronic gastritis may occur with repeated or continual presence of most of these causes:

  • Bacterial, viral and parasitic infections
  • Certain drugs (cocaine)
  • Alcohol
  • Bile reflux
  • Fungal infections
  • Allergic reactions
  • Stress reaction
  • Radiation
  • Certain food poisonings (infectious and chemical)
  • Trauma

In general, infectious agents, especially Helicobacter pylori, and NSAIDs are responsible for the majority of people with gastritis.

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Reviewed on 10/30/2015

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