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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Gastritis is inflammation or irritation of the lining of your stomach.
Call 911 for any of the following:
- You develop chest pain or shortness of breath.
Return to the emergency department if:
- You vomit blood.
- You have black or bloody bowel movements.
- You have severe stomach or back pain.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You have a fever.
- You have new or worsening symptoms, even after treatment.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
- Medicines may be given to help treat a bacterial infection or decrease stomach acid.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Manage or prevent gastritis:
- Do not smoke. Nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes and cigars can make your symptoms worse and cause lung damage. Ask your healthcare provider for information if you currently smoke and need help to quit. E-cigarettes or smokeless tobacco still contain nicotine. Talk to your healthcare provider before you use these products.
- Do not drink alcohol. Alcohol can prevent healing and make your gastritis worse. Talk to your healthcare provider if you need help to stop drinking.
- Do not take NSAIDs or aspirin unless directed. These and similar medicines can cause irritation. If your healthcare provider says it is okay to take NSAIDs, take them with food.
- Do not eat foods that cause irritation. Foods such as oranges and salsa can cause burning or pain. Eat a variety of healthy foods. Examples include fruits (not citrus), vegetables, low-fat dairy products, beans, whole-grain breads, and lean meats and fish. Try to eat small meals, and drink water with your meals. Do not eat for at least 3 hours before you go to bed.
- Find ways to relax and decrease stress. Stress can increase stomach acid and make gastritis worse. Activities such as yoga, meditation, or listening to music can help you relax. Spend time with friends, or do things you enjoy.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
You may need ongoing tests or treatment, or referral to a gastroenterologist. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.