Symptoms of Gastritis

By  , Expert Content
May 29, 2012

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The term gastritis describes a group of conditions that cause inflammation of the lining of the stomach. There are many factors that can cause inflammation of the lining of the stomach. The most common cause of gastritis is infection with the bacteria helicobacter pylori (the same bacterium that causes most stomach ulcers). Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) live in the stomach and can cause both acute and chronic infection. Other causes of gastritis include injury, regular use of certain pain relievers or drinking an excess of alcohol. All these can irritate the gastric mucosa and contribute to gastritis.

When the symptoms occur suddenly, it is known as acute gastritis. In chronic gastritis, the symptoms occur slowly over time. Symptoms of gastritis can vary from one person to another and in many people, there may be no symptoms. Some of the common symptoms are:

  • feeling of nausea or recurrent upset stomach,
  • sensation of abdominal bloating,
  • abdominal pain (may vary from mild to severe),
  • vomiting and    
  • recurrent indigestion
  • burning or gnawing feeling in the stomach (may occur between meals or at night)
  • bothersome or recurrent hiccups
  • loss of appetite
  • vomiting blood or coffee ground-like material
  • black, tarry stools
  • unintended weight loss
  • excessive gas or flatulence and
  • change in taste

Abdominal pain: There are some characteristic features of abdominal pain in gastritis such as:

  • pain located in upper abdomen (may be left upper abdominal pain),
  • pain that may feel like burning pain in the upper abdomen,
  • The person feeling pain or heaviness in lower chest,
  • pain increasing in intensity when the stomach is empty and
  • relief from pain because of food or antacids.

Symptoms of severe gastritis: In addition to the symptoms of gastritis, if you have any of the following symptoms, it may be due to severe gastritis.

  • Blood in the stool or black coloured stool
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Blood in vomiting
  • Vomiting material that looks like coffee grounds
  • Pallor (pale skin)
  • Rapid pulse, feeling dizzy or tired
  • Fainting

Symptoms of chronic gastritis: There are no characteristic symptoms of chronic gastritis unless the person develops an ulcer. The person may have severe bloating sensation, bleeding, fever and a progressively increasing feeling of being ill. As blood loss occurs slowly from the ulcer, it may lead to anaemia (loss of red blood cells) over time and you may experience symptoms such as general weakness and loss of energy because of iron deficiency anaemia.



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