What Is Gastritis?
Gastritis is an inflammation, irritation, or erosion of the lining of the stomach. It can occur suddenly (acute) or gradually (chronic).
What Causes Gastritis?
Gastritis can be caused by irritation due to excessive alcohol use, chronic vomiting, stress, or the use of certain medications such as aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs. It may also be caused by any of the following:
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori): A bacteria that lives in the mucous lining of the stomach. Without treatment the infection can lead to ulcers, and in some people, stomach cancer.
Pernicious anemia: A form of anemia that occurs when the stomach lacks a naturally occurring substance needed to properly absorb and digest vitamin B12.
Bile reflux: A backflow of bile into the stomach from the bile tract (that connects to the liver and gallbladder).
Infections caused by bacteria and viruses
If gastritis is left untreated, it can lead to a severe loss in blood, or in some cases increase the risk of developing stomach cancer.
What Are the Symptoms of Gastritis?
Symptoms of gastritis vary among individuals, and in many people there are no symptoms. However, the most common symptoms include:
Nausea or recurrent upset stomach
Burning or gnawing feeling in the stomach between meals or at night
Loss of appetite
Vomiting blood or coffee ground-like material
Black, tarry stools