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Gastritis

Inflammation of the lining of the stomach.

PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: NIH - National Cancer Institute)

About Gastritis

The membranes lining the stomach wall protect it from acid and germs. If this protective lining is irritated or damaged, it can become inflamed. Long-lasting inflammations can further damage the stomach lining and lead to stomach (gastric) ulcers.Inflammation of the stomach lining is called gastritis. It is usually caused by certain bacteria or anti-inflammatory medication.

There are two kinds of gastritis: acute and chronic. Acute gastritis is typically accompanied by very noticeable stomach and bowel problems that usually go away again on their own after a few days. Chronic gastritis, on the other hand, sometimes goes unnoticed. People may only realize they have it when complications like stomach ulcers arise.

The relationship between gastritis and symptoms is not clear. The term gastritis refers specifically to abnormal inflammation in the stomach lining. People who have gastritis may experience pain or discomfort in the upper abdomen, but many people with gastritis do not have any symptoms.

The term gastritis is sometimes mistakenly used to describe any symptoms of pain or discomfort in the upper abdomen. Many diseases and disorders can cause these symptoms. Most people who have upper abdominal symptoms do not have gastritis....Read more about Gastritis... Read more about Gastritis

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Treatment of chronic atrophic gastritis with Chinese medicines: a systematic review

Bibliographic details: Huang X, Lv B.  Treatment of chronic atrophic gastritis with Chinese medicines: a systematic review. World Chinese Journal of Digestology 2010; 18(10): 1056-1062

Ursodeoxycholic acid for treatment of bile reflux gastritis: a systematic review

Bibliographic details: Zhao ZF, Gao HL, Yao P.  Ursodeoxycholic acid for treatment of bile reflux gastritis: a systematic review. World Chinese Journal of Digestology 2013; 21(26): 2708-2716

Weifuchun for chronic atrophic gastritis: a systematic review

Bibliographic details: Zhu LL, Tian JH, Bai ZG, Yang KH, Wu J, Zhao FH, Ma B.  Weifuchun for chronic atrophic gastritis: a systematic review. Chinese Journal of Evidence-Based Medicine 2009; 9(1): 81-87

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Summaries for consumers

Gastritis: Peptic ulcers

Peptic ulcers (stomach ulcers and duodenal ulcers) are usually caused by Helicobacter pylori infections. The regular use of anti-inflammatory painkillers can lead to these kinds of ulcers too, though. The main symptom is pain in the upper abdomen. Usually medication is the only treatment that is needed. If the lining of the stomach and duodenum can no longer provide enough protection against stomach acid and germs, the walls of the stomach or duodenum may become inflamed or damaged. This can lead to the development of a wound known as an ulcer in the wall of the stomach or duodenum. Peptic ulcers in the stomach are known as “stomach ulcers” or “gastric ulcers,” and peptic ulcers found in the first part of the intestine just behind the stomach are known as “duodenal ulcers.” The risk of getting a peptic ulcer increases with age. Typical symptoms include: Pain in your upper abdomenFeeling full or nauseous But people may have an ulcer for a long time without knowing it, and only find out when a complication arises.

Gastritis: Overview

Gastritis is common. The symptoms include stomach pain, heartburn, nausea and feeling full. It is usually caused by certain bacteria or anti-inflammatory painkillers. The symptoms often clear up on their own after a few days.

Gastritis: How can you prevent painkiller-related peptic ulcers?

When taken for a long time, painkillers like diclofenac and ibuprofen can lead to ulcers in the stomach and duodenum. But the risk of this happening can be clearly reduced by also taking medication to protect your stomach.

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Terms to know

Abdominal Pain
Sensation of discomfort, distress, or agony in the abdominal region.
Digestion
The process of breaking down food into substances the body can use for energy, tissue growth, and repair.
Gastrointestinal Bleeding
Bleeding in any segment of the gastrointestinal tract.
Helicobacter Pylori (H. Pylori)
A type of bacterium that causes inflammation and ulcers in the stomach or small intestine.
Inflammation
Redness, swelling, pain, and/or a feeling of heat in an area of the body. This is a protective reaction to injury, disease, or irritation of the tissues.
Mucosa (Mucous Membranes)
The moist, inner lining of some organs and body cavities (such as the nose, mouth, lungs, and stomach). Glands in the mucosa make mucus (a thick, slippery fluid). Also called mucous membrane.
Stomach
An organ that is part of the digestive system. The stomach helps digest food by mixing it with digestive juices and churning it into a thin liquid.
Ulcers
A sore on the skin's surface or on the stomach or intestinal lining.

More about Gastritis

Photo of an adult

Also called: Gastric catarrh

See Also: Ménétrier's Disease

Other terms to know: See all 8
Abdominal Pain, Digestion, Gastrointestinal Bleeding

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