Gastritis is a condition in which the lining of the stomach becomes inflamed or swollen. Under normal conditions, the stomach makes acid and enzymes that help digest food. When the lining of the stomach is inflamed, it produces less acid and fewer enzymes. Gastritis can come and go quickly or become chronic if it is long lasting. In some cases, the stomach lining can wear away, leading to ulcers. Causes of gastritis include infection with Helicobacter pylori, damage to the stomach lining due to medications, drugs, or medical procedures, and autoimmune diseases in which the body’s immune system attacks the lining of the stomach. People with gastritis may experience abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting.
If a healthcare provider suspects that a person has gastritis, the provider will use the person’s medical history, physical exam and the results of endoscopy to confirm the diagnosis. Additional testing may be performed to determine the underlying cause of gastritis.
Healthcare providers treat gastritis with medications that lower the amount of acid in the stomach and by treating the underlying cause. For example, antibiotics are prescribed to treat infection and medications are changed or doses are reduced if they are the cause of gastritis.