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Gastritis - chronic

Definition

Chronic gastritis is inflammation of the lining of the stomach that persists for a long time.

Alternative Names

Chronic gastritis

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Chronic gastritis may be caused by prolonged irritation from the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), infection with the bacteria Helicobacter pylori, pernicious anemia (an autoimmune disorder), degeneration of the lining of the stomach from age, or chronic bile reflux.

Symptoms

Many people with chronic gastritis have no symptoms of the condition.

Signs and tests

Treatment

Treatment depends on the specific cause. Some of the causes will disappear over time.

Medications known to cause gastritis should be discontinued.

Medications to neutralize stomach acid or decrease its production will usually eliminate the symptoms and promote healing.

Antibiotics are used to treat chronic gastritis caused by infection with Helicobacter pylori.

Gastritis caused by pernicious anemia is treated with vitamin B12.

Support Groups

Expectations (prognosis)

The outlook depends on the cause, but is usually good.

Complications

Loss of blood and increased risk of gastric cancer are potential complications.

Calling your health care provider

Call your health care provider if symptoms of gastritis do not improve with treatment. Call your health care provider if you are vomiting blood or producing bloody stools.

Prevention

Avoid use of aspirin or NSAIDs if you are prone to gastritis.

References

Kuipers, E. Acid peptic disease. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D. Cecil Textbook of Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 141.

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    Review Date: 1/28/2009

    Review By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; George F Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program San Diego, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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