Acute Gastritis: Causes, Symptoms, and More

Acute gastritis is a sudden inflammation or swelling in the lining of the stomach. It can trigger severe and irritating pain. However, the pain is temporary and usually lasts for short bursts at a time. Acute gastritis begins unexpectedly, and can be brought on by injury, bacteria, viruses, tension, or ingesting irritants such as alcohol, NSAIDs, steroids, or spicy food. It is frequently only temporary. Chronic gastritis, on the other hand, begins more gradually and lasts longer.

Chronic gastritis might cause more of a constant dull ache than the more intense pain of acute gastritis.

Gastritis is a separate condition from gastroenteritis. Gastritis only directly affects the stomach and might include nausea or vomiting, while gastroenteritis impacts both the stomach and the intestines. Gastroenteritis symptoms might include diarrhea in addition to nausea or throwing up.

While the prevalence of chronic gastritis has decreased in developing nations in recent years, acute gastritis is still common.

What Causes Acute Gastritis?

Acute gastritis occurs when the lining of your stomach is harmed or weak. This permits digestive acids to irritate the stomach. There are numerous things that can harm your stomach lining. The causes of acute gastritis include:

  • medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and corticosteroids
  • bacterial infections such as H. pylori
  • excessive alcohol consumption

NSAIDs and corticosteroids (steroid hormonal agent medications) are the most common reasons for acute gastritis.

H. pylori is a kind of bacteria that can contaminate the stomach. It’s often the cause of peptic ulcers. While it’s unclear how H. pylori spreads, it can result in stomach inflammation, loss of appetite, nausea, bloating, and abdominal discomfort.

Other causes that are less typical include:

  • viral infections
  • severe tension
  • autoimmune conditions, which might trigger the immune system to assault the stomach lining
  • digestive diseases and disorders such as Crohn’s disease
  • bile reflux
  • cocaine usage
  • consuming corrosive substances such as poison
  • surgical treatment
  • kidney failure
  • systemic stress
  • being on a breathing machine or respirator

Who Is at Risk for Acute Gastritis?

Elements that increase your risk of acute gastritis include:

  • taking NSAIDs
  • taking corticosteroids
  • consuming a lot of alcohol
  • having major surgical treatment
  • kidney failure
  • liver failure
  • respiratory failure

What Are the Signs of Acute Gastritis?

Some individuals with acute gastritis do not have any signs. Other people may have signs that range from moderate to extreme.

Typical signs include:

  • loss of appetite
  • indigestion
  • black stools
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • bloody vomit that looks like utilized coffee premises
  • discomfort in the upper part of the abdomen
  • a full sensation in the upper abdomen after consuming

Some signs related to acute gastritis are likewise seen in other health conditions. It can be challenging to confirm acute gastritis without talking with a doctor.

Contact your doctor if you have gastritis symptoms for a week or longer. If you vomit blood, seek medical attention instantly.

There are some conditions that can cause symptoms comparable to those of acute gastritis, including:

  • peptic ulcers, which might accompany gastritis
  • Crohn’s disease, which is a chronic inflammatory condition and can involve the whole digestive system
  • gallstones or gallbladder disease
  • food poisoning, which can cause extreme abdominal discomfort, vomiting, and diarrhea

How is Acute Gastritis Diagnosed?

Some tests can be used to identify acute gastritis. Normally, your doctor will ask you in-depth concerns to discover your symptoms. They may also buy tests to verify medical diagnosis, such as the following:

  • a complete blood count (CBC), which is utilized to check your general health
  • a blood, breath, or saliva test, which is utilized to look for H. pylori
  • a fecal test, which is utilized to look for blood in your stool
  • an esophagogastroduodenoscopy, or endoscopy, which is utilized to take a look at the lining of your stomach with a little video camera
  • a gastric tissue biopsy, which involves getting rid of a small piece of stomach tissue for analysis
  • an X-ray, which is utilized to try to find structural issues in your digestive system

How is Acute Gastritis Treated?

Some cases of acute gastritis go away without treatment, and eating a bland diet can aid in a fast recovery. Foods that are low in natural acids, low in fat, and low in fiber may be endured best.

Lean meats like chicken or turkey breast can be added to the diet plan if tolerated, though chicken broth or other soups might be finest if throwing up keeps occurring.

Nevertheless, lots of people do need treatment for acute gastritis, with treatment and healing times depending upon the cause of the gastritis. H. pylori infections may require one or two rounds of antibiotics, which might last for 2 weeks apiece.

Other treatments, like those used to treat viruses, will include taking medication to lower signs.

Some treatment options include:


There are both over-the-counter and prescription medications for gastritis. Frequently, your doctor will suggest a mix of drugs, including the following:

  • Antacids such as Pepto-Bismol, TUMS, or milk of magnesia can be utilized to neutralize stomach acid. These can be utilized as long as an individual experiences gastritis, with a dose taken as often as every 30 minutes if needed.
  • H2 villains such as famotidine (Pepcid) and cimetidine (Tagamet) reduce the production of stomach acid and can be taken between 10 and 60 minutes prior to eating.
  • Proton pump inhibitors such as omeprazole (Prilosec) and esomeprazole (Nexium) inhibit the production of stomach acid. They ought to be taken only once every 24 hours and for no greater than 2 week.

Antibiotics are only necessary if you have a bacterial infection, such as from H. pylori. Typical antibiotics used to treat H. pylori infections include amoxicillin, tetracycline (which should not be used in children under 12 years old), and clarithromycin.

The antibiotic might be utilized in conjunction with a proton pump inhibitor, antacid, or H2 villain. Treatment generally lasts between 10 days and 4 weeks.

Your doctor may likewise advise that you stop taking any NSAIDS or corticosteroids to see if that relieves your signs. However, don’t stop taking these drugs without very first talking to your doctor.

Home Care

Lifestyle modifications might also help reduce your acute gastritis signs. Modifications that might help include:

  • avoiding or restricting alcohol usage
  • preventing spicy, fried, and acidic foods
  • consuming regular, small meals
  • reducing tension
  • avoiding drugs that can aggravate the stomach lining, such as NSAIDs or aspirin

Alternative Treatments for Acute Gastritis

According to research initially published in The Original Internist, particular herbs improve digestive health. They may likewise assist kill H. pylori. Some of the herbs utilized to treat acute gastritis include:

  • slippery elm
  • myrrh
  • berberine
  • licorice
  • wild indigo
  • clove
  • Oregon Grape

Talk with your doctor if you’re interested in utilizing herbs to treat acute gastritis, and ask for how long you must take each of them. Some herbs might communicate with other medications. Your doctor should know any supplements you take.

Outlook for People with Acute Gastritis

The outlook for acute gastritis depends upon the underlying cause. It typically deals with rapidly with treatment. H. pylori infections, for example, can often be treated with a couple of rounds of antibiotics, and it might take a week or more for you to combat off viral infections.

However, sometimes treatment fails and it can develop into chronic, or long-term, gastritis. Chronic gastritis likewise may increase your threat of developing gastric cancer.

Preventing Acute Gastritis

You can lower your danger of developing this condition with a few easy steps:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water regularly and before meals. This can minimize your risk of becoming infected with H. pylori.
  • Cook foods thoroughly. This also minimizes the danger of infection.
  • Avoid alcohol or limit your alcohol intake.
  • Avoid NSAIDs or don’t use them frequently. Consume NSAIDs with food and water to prevent signs.
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