Gastritis and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) share some symptoms. However, they have different complications and often require different treatments.
Gastritis is a condition that causes inflammation in the stomach lining. Bacterial infections are the
GERD is when a person often and repeatedly has acid reflux or heartburn. GERD is a serious condition that can eventually lead to a person experiencing complications. About
Gastritis and GERD have some similar symptoms, share some treatments, and may lead to complications without treatment. In this article, we compare the symptoms of gastritis with those of GERD.
Gastritis and GERD can share certain
Most people with gastritis do not have symptoms. If they do, gastritis may cause a person to have indigestion-like symptoms,
- abdominal pain or aching
- feeling full too soon after eating
Learn more about gastritis symptoms.
Not all people with GERD have symptoms. However, some people
Other GERD symptoms may include:
- chest pain
- chronic coughing or hoarseness
- pain or problems when swallowing
Similar factors can
The most common cause of chronic gastritis is a bacterial stomach infection. Bacteria cannot cause a person to develop GERD.
Other common causes of gastritis
- gastrointestinal infection
- medications, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
physical stressorssuch as sepsis or trauma
- autoimmune disorders
A person can
The LES typically stops food, liquid, and stomach acid from flowing back into the throat. If a person’s LES weakens or relaxes at the wrong times, stomach acid may flow upward into the esophagus.
Factors that can affect a person’s LES and could lead to GERD are:
- having overweight or obesity
- eating spicy foods
- having a hiatal hernia
Some medicines can cause GERD or make a person’s GERD symptoms worse:
A doctor will start the diagnosis of
A doctor can use upper gastrointestinal endoscopy to diagnose either condition. During this test, a doctor uses a camera on a flexible tube to internally examine a person’s esophagus or stomach.
Other tests are specific to each condition.
To investigate whether a person has GERD, a doctor may use esophageal pH monitoring. For this, they use catheters or capsules to check a person’s stomach acid level over time.
For gastritis, other tests include a:
- physical exam
- blood test
- stool test
- urea breath test to check for Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria
Doctors use different treatments for gastritis and GERD.
If gastritis is the result of an infection with bacteria such as H. pylori, a doctor
- a combination of antibiotics
- proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), which reduce the amount of acid a person’s stomach produces
- bismuth subsalicylates
In cases where gastric irritation results from medication or other ingested means, avoiding these irritants may effectively treat symptoms. However, a person should not stop taking prescribed medications without first talking with a doctor.
To manage GERD, doctors often
- reaching or maintaining a moderate weight
- quitting smoking, if applicable
- changing certain dietary or eating habits
Learn more about foods to limit or avoid to help ease GERD.
Medications for GERD management include:
If medication and lifestyle changes do not help reduce a person’s symptoms, doctors may recommend surgical options. However, surgical options increase a person’s risk of complications.
One surgical option for treating GERD is fundoplication. For this procedure, a surgeon sews around the end of a person’s esophagus to add pressure to their esophageal sphincter.
Another surgical option is gastric bypass surgery to help people lose weight.
If a person has any of the following symptoms, they should contact a doctor
- stomach pain and cramps
- shortness of breath
- black stools or stools that look similar to tar
- blood in stools
- blood in their vomit, or vomit that looks similar to coffee grounds
- pain or problems when swallowing
- chest pain
- persistent vomiting
- loss of appetite
- unexplained weight loss
Untreated gastritis or GERD can lead to a person developing serious complications. Untreated gastritis can
Untreated GERD can lead to complications
- ulcers and bleeding in the lining of a person’s esophagus
- problems swallowing
- other complications outside the esophagus
Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about gastritis and GERD.
Can gastritis turn into GERD?
Gastritis is not a cause of GERD.
What might a doctor mistake for gastritis?
A doctor may mistake several conditions for gastritis due to shared symptoms. These conditions include:
Gastritis and GERD cause similar symptoms. However, doctors treat them differently. Left untreated, both conditions can cause serious complications.
If a person suspects they may have gastritis or GERD, they should seek medical advice.