Patient resources Gastritis
What is Gastritis?
Gastritis is the term given when your stomach lining has become inflamed. This inflammation causes painful irritation and may cause the stomach lining to erode. Gastritis can be sudden on-set or develop over time, treatment often involves life style changes and medication.
Symptoms may include:
- Burning pain in the upper abdomen or lower chest
- Bloating or burping
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Bad breath
- Blood in vomit or stools
There may be many factors that cause Gastritis including medications, alcohol, allergic or immune reactions or infection. Helicobacter pylori (H.Pylori) is a specific bacteria that is often the cause of an infection of the stomach lining, and occurs in around 4 in 10 adults over the age of 60, in some people this may cause an ulcer. An ulcer is a small hole in the lining of the stomach.
Medications such as Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) which include aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen can increase acidity in the stomach, which can wear the lining.
- Life style changes may assist in treating Gastritis, such as dietary changes and avoiding fatty or spicy foods, limiting alcohol & coffee as well as eating smaller more frequent meals.
- Antacids may also assist in protecting the stomach lining or you may be prescribed medications to reduce stomach acids.
- If you are prescribed antibiotics to treat H. Pylori, it is important to complete the prescribed course, even if your symptoms reduce.
- If left untreated gastritis can lead to stomach ulcers and bleeding and in rare cases can increase the risk of stomach cancer.
- Gastritis responds well to simple treatment, acute flare-ups may occur from time to time, which may require more urgent attention.