Gastritis is a general term for a range of conditions that cause the lining of your stomach to become inflamed, causing pain, indigestion, and nausea. While gastritis can cause stomach ulcers if left untreated, the condition isn’t serious for most people and should go away quickly with minor treatment, such as antacids or antibiotics.

What Are the Symptoms of Gastritis?


The symptoms of gastritis are:

  • Indigestion: A burning or gnawing pain in your upper stomach, which may get better or worse after eating, often depending on the food you have eaten

  • Nausea:Feeling sick

  • Vomiting: Being sick

  • Loss of appetite

  • Burping or farting

What Causes Gastritis?


There doesn’t always have to be a specific cause of gastritis. Some things that can increase your risk of getting the condition include:

  • Bacterial infection: The bacteria Helicobacter pylori, also known as H. pylori

  • Regular use of anti-inflammatory painkillers such as ibuprofen or aspirin

  • Stress, or being unwell or rundown

  • Drinking too much alcohol

  • Cancer treatments: Chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments can increase your risk of gastritis

How Do You Treat Gastritis?


Treatment for gastritis depends on what is causing your condition. Treatments include:

  • Antibiotics

  • Medicines to control stomach acid, such as antacid indigestion tablets, alginates, or proton pump inhibitors, which reduce the amount of stomach acid you produce

  • Stopping drinking alcohol

There are also lifestyle changes that you can make to help manage gastritis.

    Things you can do:

  • Losing weight, if you are overweight

  • Using an extra pillow in bed to raise your shoulders and stop stomach acid rising up your throat while you sleep

  • Talking to your doctor about stopping taking anti-inflammatory painkillers or changing to a different type of painkiller

    Things to avoid:

  • Drinking alcohol

  • Smoking

  • Drinks containing caffeine, such as tea, coffee, cola and energy drinks

  • Acidic food and drinks such as orange juice, fizzy drinks or pickled foods

  • Spicy and fatty foods

When Should You See a GP?


You should book an appointment with your GP or get an online appointment if you have stomach pain that lasts longer than one week or if your stomach pain is worsening or coming back. If you aren’t yet registered with a GP, you can do so here anytime if you aren’t yet registered with a GP to book an appointment.

When Should You Get an Emergency Appointment?


You should ask your GP for an emergency appointment if you have had gastritis and you have any of the following symptoms:

  • You keep feeling sick

  • You have unexpectedly lost weight

  • You feel full after a very small meal

  • You’ve lost your appetite

  • It’s difficult or painful to swallow

When Should You Call an Ambulance or Go to A&E?


You should seek immediate medical attention if:

  • You vomit bright red blood

  • You have vomit that looks like ground coffee

  • Your poo is black, sticky, and extremely smelly

  • You have sudden severe chest or stomach pain

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