Is Acute Gastritis?
Acute gastritis is a sudden inflammation or swelling in the
lining of the stomach. It causes severe and nagging pain. However, the pain is
temporary and usually lasts for short bursts at a time.
Causes Acute Gastritis?
Acute gastritis occurs when the lining of your stomach is damaged
or weak. This allows digestive acids to irritate the stomach. There are many
things that can damage your stomach lining. The causes of acute gastritis
- medications such as nonsteroidal
anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and corticosteroids
- bacterial infections such as H. pylori
- excessive alcohol consumption
NSAIDs and corticosteroids are the most common causes of acute
gastritis. Between 20
and 50 percent of acute gastritis cases in the United States are caused
by H. pylori.
Other causes that are less common include:
- viral infections
- extreme stress
- autoimmune disorders, which may cause the immune
system to attack the stomach lining
- digestive diseases and disorders such as Crohn’s
- bile reflux
- cocaine use
- ingesting corrosive substances such as poison
- kidney failure
- being on a breathing machine, or respirator
Is at Risk for Acute Gastritis?
Factors that increase your risk of acute gastritis include:
- taking NSAIDs
- taking corticosteroids
- drinking a lot of alcohol
- having a major surgery
- kidney failure
- liver failure
- respiratory failure
Are the Symptoms of Acute Gastritis?
Some people with acute gastritis do not have any symptoms. Other
people may have symptoms that range from mild to severe. Common symptoms
- appetite loss
- black stools
- bloody vomit that looks like used coffee grounds
- pain in the upper part of the abdomen
- a full feeling in the upper abdomen after eating
Some symptoms associated with acute gastritis are also seen in
other health conditions. It can be difficult to confirm acute gastritis without
talking to a doctor.
Is Acute Gastritis Diagnosed?
Some tests can be used to diagnose acute gastritis. Usually, your
doctor will ask you detailed questions to learn about your symptoms. They may
also order tests to confirm diagnosis, such as the following:
- A complete
blood count (CBC) is used to check your overall health.
- A blood,
breath, or saliva test is used to check for H. pylori.
- A fecal
test is used to check for blood in your stool.
- An esophagogastroduodenoscopy
is used to look at the lining of your stomach with a small camera. This
is also called an endoscopy.
- A gastric
tissue biopsy involves removing a small piece of stomach tissue for
- An X-ray
is used to look for structural problems in your digestive system.
Is Acute Gastritis Treated?
Some cases of acute gastritis go away without treatment. However,
many people do need treatment for acute gastritis. The treatment used will depend
on what’s causing your pain. Some options include:
There are both over-the-counter and prescription medicines for
gastritis. Often, your doctor will recommend a combination of drugs, including
such as Pepto-Bismol, TUMS, or Milk of Magnesia can be used to neutralize stomach
antagonists such as famotidine (Pepcid) and cimetidine (Tagamet) reduce
the production of stomach acid.
pump inhibitors such as omeprazole (Prilosec) and esomeprazole (Nexium) inhibit
the production of stomach acid.
Antibiotics are only necessary if you have a bacterial infection,
such as from H. pylori.
Your doctor may also recommend that you stop taking any NSAIDS or
corticosteroids to see if that relieves your symptoms. However, don’t stop
taking these drugs without first talking to your doctor.
Lifestyle changes may also help reduce your acute gastritis
symptoms. Changes that could help include:
- avoiding or limiting alcohol consumption
- avoiding spicy, fried, and acidic foods
- eating frequent, small meals
- reducing stress
- avoiding drugs that can irritate the stomach lining, such as NSAIDs or aspirin
Treatments for Acute Gastritis
According to research,
certain herbs improve digestive system health. They may also help kill H.
pylori. Some of the herbs used to treat acute gastritis include:
- slippery elm
- wild indigo
- Oregon grape
Talk to your doctor if you’re interested in using herbs to treat
acute gastritis. Some herbs may interact with other medication. Your doctor
should be aware of any supplements you take.
for People with Acute Gastritis
The outlook for acute gastritis depends on the underlying cause.
It usually resolves quickly with treatment. However, sometimes treatment fails
and it can turn into chronic, or long-term, gastritis.
Acute gastritis may increase your risk of developing gastric
You can reduce your risk of developing this condition with a few
- Wash your hands with soap and water regularly
and before meals. This can reduce your risk of becoming infected with H.
- Cook foods thoroughly. This also reduces the
risk of infection.
- Avoid alcohol or limit your alcohol intake.
- Avoid NSAIDs or only use them infrequently. Consume
NSAIDs with food and water to avoid symptoms.