What is gastritis and its causes symptoms complications treatment

What is gastritis and its causes symptoms complications treatment

What is gastritis?

The term –itis refers to inflammation. So gastritis is inflammation of the inner lining also called mucosa of the stomach.

It can be acute or chronic. More aggressive acute gastritis can also lead to erosive gastritis.


(A)Acute gastritis causes:

  • Frequent use of painkiller medicines also known as Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Helicobacter pylori bacteria is one of the most common cause
  • Excessive use of alcohol and tobacco
  • Severe trauma, CNS trauma, burns
  • Severe stress, multiorgan failure, and prolonged illness
  • Bile reflux
  • Drugs like Iron
  • Viral infection such as cytomegalovirus (CMV), herpes simplex virus caused in AIDS
  • Dietetic errors

(B)Chronic gastritis causes:

  • H. pylori infection if untreated can lead to chronic active gastritis
  • Autoimmune diseases associated with Pernicious anemia
  • After gastrectomy

Uncommon types

There are also some uncommon types of gastritis such as

  • Chronic infection like tuberculosis
  • Chronic inflammatory disease like sarcoidosis, Crohn’s disease
  • Graft-versus-host disease, in this donated cells also called as graft behaves the host body cells as foreign body cells and attacks them.
  • Hypertrophic gastritis (Menetrier’s disease), protein-losing enteropathy


The most common symptoms include nausea, vomiting, indigestion, heaviness, or fullness with or without dull aching pain in the stomach region, especially after meals. There may also be heartburn in some cases.

There may be black-colored stool and blood or grayish coffee-colored material in vomiting if ulcers develop from gastritis.

Is back pain present in gastritis?

Generally, it doesn’t cause back pain directly. The patient may have dull aching pain in the epigastric or stomach location, which may sometimes sharp or burning pain with or without bloating. And this pain radiates to the back which the patient feels as back pain or stretching of muscles.

Does constipation caused by gastritis?

Constipation maybe present as associated symptoms with diseases or medicines like iron that causes gastritis. Otherwise, constipation is not a direct symptom of gastritis.


If not treated well or left untreated, gastritis may cause complications like ulcers in the stomach, anemia and deficiency disease due to bleeding from ulcers, or there may also be a risk of developing gastric cancer.


Treatment of the causative factor is the main treatment for it.

The main causative bacteria that is H. pylori can be eliminated by proper and effective antibiotic combinations. There may also be an antibiotic failure which leads to long-term infection with the bacteria.

Damage to the mucous lining of the stomach by gastric acid can be controlled by

  • Proton pump inhibitors:

This reduces the production of acid from stomach cells and it includes medicine like Omeprazole (Prilosec, Zegerid, Ocid, Omez, etc.), Lansoprazole (Prevacid) Esomeprazole (Nexium, Nexpro, etc.) Rabeprazole (Aciphex, Cyra, Happi, etc.) Pantoprazole (Pantocid, Protonix, etc.)

  • H2 Blockers:

These H2 receptor blockers decrease the production of gastric acid from parietal cells of the stomach by blocking histamine receptors. This medicine includes famotidine (Pepcid), ranitidine (rantac, r-loc, Zantac and other alternatives. Note: brands like Zantac are mostly banned in many countries due to its cancer-causing side effects. Please confirm about ban withdrawal in your country before using the medicine), cimetidine (Tagamet).

  • Antacids:

These medicines protect the inner lining of the stomach from acid by neutralizing it. Antacid medicine contains salts of aluminum, magnesium, calcium, or sodium. And available common brands like alternagel, tums, Digene, gelusil, amphojel, etc.


These are good bacteria needed for good digestive health and help to heal gastric ulcers fast. Curd or yogurt, kefir, and such fermented foods in the diet is the best alternative to probiotic medicines.

Also read: Best home remedies for gastritis

All the medicines may have Side Effects. So it should not be used without consultation and advice of your doctor. Please consult your doctor before taking any action as this article is for educational purposes only.

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