Gastritis - chronic
Alternative Names: Chronic gastritis
Chronic gastritis is inflammation of the lining of the stomach that persists for a long time.
Causes of Gastritis - chronic
Chronic gastritis may be caused by prolonged irritation from the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), infection with the bacteria Helicobacter pylori, pernicious anemia (an autoimmune disorder), degeneration of the lining of the stomach from age, or chronic bile reflux.
Gastritis - chronic Symptoms
- Upper abdominal pain, possibly made worse by eating
- Dark stools
- Loss of appetite
- Vomiting blood or coffee-ground like material
Many people with chronic gastritis have no symptoms of the condition.
Tests and Exams
- Complete blood count (CBC) showing anemia
- EGD (esophagogastroduodenoscopy) and biopsy showing gastritis
- Stool guaiac test to check for blood in the stools
Treatment of Gastritis - chronic
Treatment depends on the specific cause. Some of the causes will disappear over time.
Medications known to cause gastritis should be discontinued.
Medications to neutralize stomach acid or decrease its production will usually eliminate the symptoms and promote healing.
Antibiotics are used to treat chronic gastritis caused by infection with Helicobacter pylori.
Gastritis caused by pernicious anemia is treated with vitamin B12.
The outlook depends on the cause, but is usually good.
Loss of blood and increased risk of gastric cancer are potential complications.
When to Contact a Health Professional
Call your health care provider if symptoms of gastritis do not improve with treatment. Call your health care provider if you are vomiting blood or producing bloody stools.
Prevention of Gastritis - chronic
Avoid use of aspirin or NSAIDs if you are prone to gastritis.
Kuipers, E. Acid peptic disease. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D. Cecil Textbook of Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 141.
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; George F Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program San Diego, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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