what is gastritis, types, causes, symptoms, treatment?


Gastritis is a medical condition marked by inflammation of the stomach lining. However, the lining of the stomach contains cells that produce mucus, enzymes, and stomach acid, that help in the process of digestion. Therefore, when the lining becomes inflamed, it can result in various symptoms and discomfort.


There are two main types of gastritis. These are;

  1. Acute– This type occurs suddenly and is usually caused by irritants such as alcohol, some medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin or ibuprofen, bacterial or viral infections, or stress. This type has symptoms such as abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and a feeling of fullness.

2. Chronic– It is a long-lasting inflammation of the stomach lining that may develop over time. It is mostly brought about by persistent infection with the bacteria Helicobacter pylori. This is an autoimmune response where the body’s immune system attacks the stomach lining, or certain medical conditions such as pernicious anemia, a deficiency in vitamin B12. Additionally, the type may not cause noticeable symptoms in some cases, but it can lead to indigestion, burning pain in the upper abdomen, bloating, nausea, and loss of appetite.

Symptoms of gastritis

So, the symptoms vary depending on the type and severity of the condition. Below are some of the symptoms experienced.

  • Abdominal Pain– It is one of the most common symptoms. The pain ranges from a dull ache to a sharp, burning sensation in the upper abdomen. It may get worse after eating or on an empty stomach.
  • Nausea and Vomiting– This feeling may be followed by occasional vomiting.
  • Indigestion- Many people with this condition experience indigestion. It is marked by a feeling of fullness or bloating after eating and general discomfort in the upper abdomen.
  • Loss of Appetite– So, one may develop a decrease in appetite or a feeling of early fullness even with small meals.
  • Heartburn– Some people get a burning sensation in the chest, commonly referred to as heartburn.
  • Hiccups– Also, hiccups that are persistent can be a symptom of the condition in some cases.
  • Dark Stools– When the case is severe, or if there is bleeding in the stomach, the stool may appear dark, tarry, or have blood in it.


  1. Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) Infection: The bacterium is a major cause of gastritis. It may infect the stomach lining and lead to chronic inflammation. H. pylori is usually acquired during childhood and can persist for many years if left untreated.

2. Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)- Using NSAIDs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen for an extended period may irritate the stomach lining and result in gastritis. The medications inhibit the production of prostaglandins, which help protect the stomach lining.

3. Excessive Alcohol intake– Excessive and regular alcohol consumption may damage the lining of the stomach lining and lead to infection.

4. Autoimmune Disorders– So, the immune system may at times mistakenly attack the cells of the stomach lining. This results in autoimmune gastritis. It can interfere with the production of acid and intrinsic factor, which is necessary for the absorption of vitamin B12.

5. Stress– Stress alone may not directly cause it but it can worsen existing inflammation and increase the risk of developing the condition.

6. Bile Reflux- Bile from the small intestine may flow back into the stomach. this causes irritation of the stomach lining and causes inflammation.

Viral or Bacterial Infections– Apart from H. pylori, there are other viral or bacterial infections that may result in the infection.

Diagnosis of gastritis

Gastritis check

Treatment of gastritis

The treatment approach depends on the type and severity. Again, it may depend on the individual patient’s circumstances.


a. Antacids provide temporary relief because they neutralize stomach acid and reduce heartburn and indigestion.

b. Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) reduce the production of acid in the stomach relieving pain and promoting healing of the stomach lining. So, such medicines include omeprazole, esomeprazole, and lansoprazole.

c. Antibiotics– If H. pylori infection is present, a combination of antibiotics is prescribed to kill the bacteria. The most used antibiotics include amoxicillin, clarithromycin, and metronidazole.


Avoiding irritants such as substances or behaviors that may worsen the condition such as alcohol, spicy foods, smoking, and certain medications like NSAIDs.

Also, dietary changes may involve eating smaller, more frequent meals. Also, avoid acidic and spicy foods, and incorporate foods that promote healing like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains.

Manage underlying conditions.

So, if it is brought about by an underlying medical condition, for instance, an autoimmune disorder or kidney failure, treating the condition is necessary.

Stress management.

Manage stress through relaxation exercises, meditation, and counseling.

However, ensure you follow the instructions of your healthcare provider while dealing with the condition.

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