Gastritis is an inflammation of the stomach lining. When it develops suddenly, it is acute gastritis. It can occur for many reasons, including bacterial infections and autoimmune diseases.

Acute gastritis can cause abdominal pain, vomiting, and weight loss. In more serious cases, it may lead to stomach bleeding.

This article provides a detailed overview of acute gastritis.

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According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), most people with gastritis have no symptoms.

However, this condition can sometimes cause:

Sometimes, gastritis can lead to erosion and ulcers, causing the stomach to bleed. This is serious and may cause:

Anyone with symptoms of stomach bleeding should seek medical assistance immediately.

There are many possible causes of gastritis. A 2023 paper lists these as follows:

The most common causes of gastritis are alcohol consumption, use of NSAIDs, and infections from the Helicobacter pylori bacteria.

There are several risk factors for acute gastritis. These are things that indicate an increased risk of acute gastritis, although they might not actually cause this condition.

According to a 2023 review, gastritis from an autoimmune disease is more common in women and in people who are older. Gastritis is also more prevalant in non-Western countries than in Western ones.

Scientists also believe that previous stomach surgery is a gastritis risk factor.

There are several principal tests for diagnosing acute gastritis. The National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom lists these as follows:

  • a breath test, which can detect H. pylori in the breath of individuals after consuming a special drink
  • laboratory tests on a sample of stool
  • laboratory tests on a blood sample

These tests help to determine the underlying cause of gastritis. Having this information is necessary for effective treatment.

The NHS details the treatment options for acute gastritis. Doctors will tailor these to an individual’s specific type of gastritis. Treatment options include:

  • For infectious gastritis: Antibiotics to treat the underlying infection.
  • For gastritis that arises from excess stomach acid: Medication to manage stomach acid such as antacids, proton pump inhibitors, and alginates.
  • For gastritis due to alcohol: Stopping alcohol consumption.
  • For gastritis that arises from NSAIDs: Stopping the use of NSAIDs and taking different medications.

If these treatments do not work, an individual may need further testing.

The outlook for people with gastritis can depend on its underlying cause.

However, most cases of gastritis generally improve with treatment. Despite these improvements, it is also common for the condition to recur.

Having had a H. pylori-induced gastritis can increase the risk of gastric cancer.

According to a 2019 study, the same is true of autoimmune gastritis. However, individuals with autoimmune gastritis also tend to receive an earlier gastric cancer diagnosis. This can improve the efficacy of gastric cancer treatment.

Gastritis is an inflammation of the stomach lining, which is acute when occurring suddenly.

Most people with gastritis do not experience symptoms. However, some people may have indigestion-like symptoms. These include upper abdominal pain, vomiting, and weight loss.

Gastritis can also lead to erosion and ulcers, resulting in gastric bleeding. This can lead to bloody stool, bloody vomit, and shortness of breath. It requires immediate medical attention.

The principal tests for diagnosing acute gastritis include a breath test to detect H. pylori. They also include laboratory tests on stool and blood samples.

This allows for effective treatment, which may involve antibiotics, not drinking alcohol, or changes in medication.