What is gastritis?
Gastritis is a condition in which the lining of your stomach becomes inflamed, irritated, or eroded. The stomach lining is responsible for producing acid, mucous, and digestive enzymes which are all necessary for the digestive process.

Acute gastritis occurs when the lining of your stomach suddenly becomes inflamed. If this inflammation lasts for a long period of time, then it is referred to as chronic gastritis. If gastritis is left untreated, it may lead to chronic abdominal pain or result in formation of ulcers

What are the symptoms of gastritis?
Gastritis may present with a variety of symptoms, including:
  • Indigestion
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Upper abdominal discomfort and pain
  • Bloating
  • Hiccups
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dark stools or bloody emesis
However, many people afflicted with gastritis do not experience any symptoms from this condition. Because symptoms of gastritis can mimic other common gastrointestinal conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, it is important to visit a gastroenterologist who can perform the proper evaluation to rule out any other problems.
How is gastritis diagnosed?
Gastritis can be difficult to diagnose because it can be similar to other intestinal disorders, such as acid reflux, ulcers, and irritable bowel syndrome. Diagnosis of gastritis often involves testing to rule out such other similar conditions.

Dr. Khorrami will perform a thorough physical exam and may schedule a series of tests to evaluate the possibility of gastritis.

  • Blood tests - This can be used to look for anemia caused by gastrointestinal bleeding. Blood tests may also uncover a high white blood cell count, which is a sign of inflammation or infection somewhere in the body. Blood tests can also be used to detect infection with H. pylori organisms.
  • Stool tests – These are commonly obtained to rule out other causes of GI symptoms, such as bacterial enteritis. Stool tests can also show if there is bleeding in the stomach or intestines. There is also a stool test which can help detect infection with H. pylori.
Dr. Khorrami may perform other tests in order to further evaluate the problem including an upper endoscopy, upper GI series, or capsule endoscopy. If a biopsy is needed, then it will be taken during the upper endoscopy. Endoscopic procedures are normally painless and usually only require a day for full recovery.

How is gastritis treated?
Treatment can be as simple as antibiotics if the cause is the H. pylori bacterial infection. Acid-reducing medications may also be prescribed in order to let the stomach lining heal from the inflammation. Acid reducing medications include:
  • Antacids (e.g. Tums, Rolaids)
  • Histamine 2 “H2” blockers (e.g. Zantac, Tagamet)
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors (e.g. Nexium, Prilosec)
The severity of patient's symptoms can determine which acid-suppressing medication is used. If the gastritis is caused by excessive use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, aspirin, or Aleve, then Dr. Khorrami will either advise you to stop taking these medications or prescribe a different class of medication instead.

If the gastritis is caused by H. pylori, then a course of antibiotics will be prescribed to eliminate the harmful bacteria. Typically, the best treatment plan will involve the combined use of a proton pump inhibitor and antibiotics.

Are there any complications of gastritis?
If left untreated, gastritis can result in chronic abdominal pain, peptic ulcer disease, and gastrointestinal bleeing. There have also been some associations made between chronic gastritis and certain gastric malignancies.

Discuss Your Options with Dr. Khorrami
Dr. Khorrami has been in practice since 1996 as a double-board certified gastroenterologist, has experienced a variety of patient cases, and is well trained to solve your digestive problems. Get in touch to learn more about gastritis and how you can successfully treat it.

Source contains material from the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC).


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About Dr. Khorrami

Dr. Payman Khorrami is a UCLA graduate, has been in practice since 1996, and is double board certified. Undergraduate Education at University of California, Berkeley, Medical School at University of California, San Francisco, Internal Medicine Training at University of California, San Diego Read Full Bio