Acute gastritis

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Acute gastritis

Definition

Acute gastritis is a sudden inflammation of the lining of the stomach.

Alternative Names

Acute gastritis

Causes

Acute gastritis may be caused by:

  • Certain medications
  • Alcohol
  • Eating or drinking corrosive substances
  • Extreme physiological stress
  • Infections

Acute gastritis is often associated with a severe, acute illness, or trauma. The following increase your risk of acute gastritis:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug use (NSAIDs)
  • Recent heavy alcohol use
  • Major surgery
  • Kidney failure
  • Liver failure
  • Respiratory failure

Symptoms

  • Dark stools
  • Hiccups
  • Indigestion
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Vomiting blood or material that looks like coffee grounds

Exams and Tests

Tests that may be done to diagnose acute gastritis include:

  • CBC (shows anemia)
  • Gastroscopy
  • Stool guaiac
  • Upper GI and small bowel series

Treatment

Treatment depends on the cause of the gastritis. Antacids or other medications to decrease or neutralize gastric acid in the stomach will usually eliminate the symptoms and promote healing. Medications that cause gastritis should be discontinued. A gastric ulcer may be present, requiring treatment.

Gastritis due to stress is best treated by prevention. Medications to decrease gastric acid production such as proton pump inhibitors should be given to stressed hospital patients.

Outlook (Prognosis)

Most gastritis improves rapidly with treatment.

Possible Complications

A potential complication is a severe loss of blood.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call for an appointment with your health care provider if symptoms of gastritis persist longer than 2 or 3 days. Call your health care provider if you vomit blood or have bloody stools.

Prevention

Control of risk factors may play a preventative role. For example, not using or minimizing use of NSAIDs and alcohol.

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