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Acute gastritis is a sudden inflammation or swelling in the lining of the stomach. It causes severe and nagging pain. Fortunately, the pain usually only lasts for a short time.
Acute gastritis occurs when the lining of your stomach is damaged or weak. This allows digestive acids to irritate the stomach. There are many things which can damage your stomach lining. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) lists the following causes of acute gastritis:
Other, less common causes include:
Factors that increase your risk of acute gastritis include:
Some people with acute gastritis do not have any symptoms. Other people may have symptoms that range from mild to severe. Common symptoms include:
Some symptoms associated with acute gastritis are also seen in other health conditions. It can be difficult to confirm acute gastritis without talking to a doctor.
A number of tests can be used to diagnose acute gastritis. Usually, your doctor will ask you detailed questions to learn about your symptoms. They may also order tests to confirm diagnosis, such as:
Some cases of acute gastritis go away without treatment. However, many people do need treatment for acute gastritis. The treatment used will depend on what is causing your pain. Some options include:
There are both over-the-counter and prescription medicines for gastritis. Often, your doctor will recommend a combination of drugs, including:
Antibiotics are only necessary if you have a bacterial infection, such as H. pylori.
Your doctor may also recommend that you stop taking any NSAIDS or corticosteroids to see if that relieves your symptoms. However, do not stop taking these drugs without first talking to your doctor.
Lifestyle changes may also help reduce your acute gastritis symptoms. Try to:
According to research published in The Original Internist, certain herbs improve digestive system health. They may also help kill H. pylori. Some of the herbs used to treat acute gastritis include:
Talk to your doctor if you are interested in using herbs to treat acute gastritis. Some herbs may interact with other medication. Your doctor should be aware of any supplements you take. (Oliver, 2009)
The outlook for acute gastritis depends on the underlying cause. It usually resolves quickly with treatment. However, sometimes treatment fails, and it can turn into chronic (long-term) gastritis.
Acute gastritis may increase your risk of developing gastric cancer. It may also increase the risk of gastric mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma.
You can reduce your risk of developing this condition with a few simple steps:
Written by: Rose Kivi, Ana Gotter, and Elizabeth Boskey, PhD
Published on: Jul 16, 2012
Medically reviewed on: Aug 31, 2016: Graham Rogers, MD
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