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I'm used to eating fast, tasty and cheap. I never thought that it might damage my health. I did not gain weight and my stomach was not sick. While alone at night, I did not feel a wild pain in the stomach. I was taken to the hospital and the doctor diagnosed gastritis. In the hospital, I spent a week and learned a lot about this gastric disease. Below, I will share this knowledge so that no one experiences the same thing as me.

Overview

Gastritis is an inflammation of the protective lining of the stomach. Acute gastritis involves sudden, severe inflammation. Chronic gastritis involves long-term inflammation that can last for years if it’s left untreated.

Erosive gastritis is a less common form of the condition. It typically doesn’t cause much inflammation, but can lead to bleeding and ulcers in the lining of the stomach.

What causes gastritis?

Weakness in your stomach lining allows digestive juices to damage and inflame it, causing gastritis. Having a thin or damaged stomach lining raises your risk for gastritis.

A gastrointestinal bacterial infection can also cause gastritis. The most common bacterial infection that causes it is Helicobacter pylori. It’s a bacterium that infects the lining of the stomach. The infection is usually passed from person to person, but can also be transmitted through contaminated food or water.

Certain conditions and activities may increase your risk for developing gastritis. Other risk factors include:

  • extreme alcohol consumption
  • routine use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and aspirin
  • cocaine use
  • age, because the stomach lining thins naturally with age
  • tobacco use

Other less common risk factors include:

  • stress caused by severe injury, illness, or surgery
  • autoimmune disorders
  • digestive disorders like Crohn’s disease
  • viral infections

What are the symptoms of gastritis?

Gastritis doesn’t cause noticeable symptoms in everyone. The most common symptoms are:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • a feeling of fullness in your upper abdomen, particularly after eating
  • indigestion

If you have erosive gastritis, you might experience different symptoms, including:

  • black, tarry stool
  • vomiting blood or material that looks like coffee grounds

Author: Heather Condon

As Third Door Media's paid media reporter, Heather Condon writes about many topics. With more than 15 years of working experience, Heather has held both in-house and agency management positions.

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