What is Acute Gastritis – Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

A condition of sudden inflammation of the stomach lining is known as acute gastritis. It causes short bursts of nagging pain which lasts temporarily for some time. Acute gastritis can occur because of regular consumption of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and corticosteroids; spicy foods; virus; bacteria; any irritants like alcohol; or even an injury can be its cause.

Acute gastritis is often temporary but the pain is intense, however, chronic gastritis is slowly progressive with dull pain but lasts longer. Also in gastritis, the only stomach is the affected part with common symptoms of nausea and vomiting, whereas in gastroenteritis both stomach and the intestine gets affected with diarrhea as additional symptom along with nausea and vomiting.

What can cause acute gastritis?

Acute gastritis occurs easily if the stomach lining is damaged or weak. Because of this even the digestive enzymes can irritate the stomach lining and finally causing damage to it.

Following are some of its main causes:

  • Medications like NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and corticosteroids
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Pylori and other bacterial infections which cause peptic ulcers and further deterioration of condition leads to gastritis with symptoms nausea, bloating, and abdominal pain
  • Autoimmune disorders which attack the stomach lining
  • Drug abuse including cocaine etc.

Acute Gastritis

  • Digestive disorders like Crohn’s disease, acid reflux, GERD etc.
  • Renal failure or systemic stress
  • Any major surgery can also trigger gastritis etc.

Which symptoms can signify the presence of Gastritis?

Symptoms of this disease might vary from person to person as well as according to its acute or chronic stage. Some people might not observe any symptoms initially.

There are few common symptoms which are seen in maximum gastritis patients, they include:

  • Abdominal pain and bloating
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting and even bloody vomit
  • Loss of appetite
  • Indigestion

Acute Gastritis

  • Hiccups
  • Heartburn
  • Black colored stools

However, these symptoms are so common that some of them even do appear in other diseases as well. So it becomes important to seek a physician’s advice and get some Tests done for a confirmed diagnosis. You must definitely visit your physician if any of these symptoms persist for more than a week.

Some of the conditions with similar symptoms of gastritis might include:

  • Gallstones or even gallbladder disease
  • Food poisoning also exhibits similar symptoms like of nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain
  • Peptic ulcers which can accompany gastritis in its latter stages
  • Crohn’s disease might also affect the digestive tract

How Is Gastritis Diagnosed?

A series of few tests, required to confirm the diagnosis of gastritis disease.

Your physician might recommend getting a few tests done like:

  • A fecal test to analyze any abnormal presence of blood or color change
  • CBC or Complete blood count test for general health analysis
  • Saliva, breath, and blood tests are for H. Pylori presence
  • X-ray is to look for any structural abnormalities
  • Endoscopy to have a closer view of the stomach and intestinal lining
  • A gastric tissue biopsy is also, done in some cases for stomach tissue analysis

How can, gastritis be treated?

In some acute gastritis cases, it might not be necessary to seek treatment as its mild symptoms might subside with required lifestyle changes. So it becomes important in such cases to eat a, balanced diet with precautions like avoiding natural acidic foods and consuming low fat, and fiber-containing foods. Diet must always be in respect to the symptoms in case of vomiting only light liquid foods must be, consumed until proper digestion starts.

However, there are many other cases of moderate to severe cases of gastritis which requires treatment. The main thing is to find out its root cause with proper diagnosis, in order to get the best possible treatment for a sooner recovery from the disease. A normal infection caused by H. Pylori being a reason for gastritis, it might take proper antibiotic treatment of two weeks for a patient to recover from it.

Several other treatment lines include both prescription and over-the-counter drugs are available as per the cause of gastritis.

Some of them include:

  • Proton pump inhibitors like esomeprazole (Nexium), omeprazole (Prilosec) etc., helps to inhibit acid production in the stomach. This medicine is usually, taken once daily with not more than 14 days in continuation.


  • H2 antagonists like famotidine (Pepcid) etc., also helps in reducing stomach acid production. It is normally, taken 30 to 40 minutes before eating a meal.


  • Commonly available antacids like milk of magnesia and Pepto-Bismol etc. helps in neutralizing the stomach acids. It can be, taken as per the need until the gastritis symptoms completely subside.


  • Antibiotics like tetracycline, amoxicillin, and clarithromycin etc, prescribed in cases of bacterial infection caused by H. Pylori. Antibiotics are also, used in combination with antacids, proton pump inhibitors, H2 antagonists etc., for better results and early recovery.


Also, some additional precautions might be, instructed as per your case by your physician. You must also consider sharing your past drug history with your physician to avoid any drug interaction. Your doctor will be able to suggest stopping your any previous medication to avoid any sort of drug interaction and relieving gastritis symptoms. However, you must not stop any of your medications on your own without the consent of your physician.

Take away

Lifestyle changes can help in reducing symptoms of acute gastritis. These changes might include limiting alcohol consumption; fried and spicy foods; avoiding stress buildup in a body; avoiding NSAIDs etc. However, if lifestyle changes do not help in subsiding gastritis symptoms than you must see a physician for proper treatment. Early diagnosis is the key for best treatment so, do not delay get all, recommended Tests Done. Also, do not hide any disease or drug-related information form your doctor to enable him to help you in the best possible way.

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