Gastritis: Symptoms and Treatment

Gastritis is the inflammation of the stomach. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain or burning sensation, postprandial fullness (feeling fullness or gas after a meal). The symptoms of gastritis are non-specific, which means they may be present in other conditions.

Gastritis can be caused by multiple agents and can be classified into acute and chronic. Among the most common causes of acute gastritis are: NSAID´s, biphosphonates, potassium, macrolide, alcohol, stress, viruses and bacteria. Chronic gastritis is usually cause by Helicobacter pylori.

Treatment of Gastritis

Treatment of gastritis depends on its etiology. First it has to be diagnosed. The diagnosis is made endoscopically and microscopically. If it is caused by something the patient is taking, the treatment is to discontinue the agent. If the biopsy reveals pylori, it can be treated with antibiotics.

Medications sometimes are needed for the treatment of gastritis if discontinuation of the offending agent or eradication Helicobacter pylori does not completely cure the symptoms. Medications used include antacids such as Mylanta, acid blockers such as Zantac and proton pump inhibitors like Prilosec, Aciphex , Nexium and Prevacid.

Some people have used natural remedies for gastritis with good outcomes. The most important of all is to follow a well balanced diet and avoid foods that can irritate the stomach and worsen symptoms. Foods to avoid include alcohol, coffee and other drinks that contain caffeine, and tobacco. Natural remedies for both acute and chronic cases include coconut and rice water. Some people also use the herb call Marigold whose scientific name is Calendula officinalis and its Indian name is Saldbargh or Zergul (Source : It is believed that this herb has wound healing and antiseptic properties.

Seeking the Help of a Gastroenterologist

My advice as a gastroenterologist is that if you are suffering from gastritis you should try keeping a log of the foods that provoke episodes of gastritis and then avoid these. Avoid excessive alcohol intake, caffeine and spicy foods. Some cases of gastritis are worsened by constipation. My recommendation is to eat yogurt every day to keep regular bowel movements. And YES, in some people, gastritis is activated by stress so avoid stressful situations if you are one of them. In my experience, the symptoms of gastritis are difficult to treat so be patient it will get better.



  1. McNally Peter et al, GI/Liver Secrets third edition


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