Gastritis Symptoms You Should Know
Gastritis is a common condition where there is inflammation and irritation of the stomach. If you’ve ever experienced an episode of gastritis, you know how uncomfortable it can be.
There are two main types of gastritis: acute gastritis and chronic gastritis.
Acute gastritis is often caused by stomach irritants such as alcohol, certain medications, including aspirin and NSAIDs, bacterial or viral infections, periods of excessive stress, or ingesting corrosive substances.
Chronic gastritis typically develops gradually and may last a long time or reoccur. It is often associated with H pylori infection, autoimmune diseases, or long-term use of certain medications. If untreated, gastritis can lead to complications such as peptic ulcers and an increased risk of stomach cancer.
Here are six gastritis symptoms you should know:
- Abdominal Pain or Discomfort: Many people with gastritis complain of pain or burning sensation in the center of the upper abdomen and sometimes on the upper left side of the stomach. The pain is often made worse by eating.
- Nausea and Vomiting: Nausea and vomiting are common in people experiencing gastritis. You may feel queasy before or after eating. If you are experiencing vomiting and notice that your vomit has blood or is black, call your doctor immediately, as this could indicate the inside of your stomach is bleeding.
- Indigestion and Bloating: Indigestion is another common symptom of gastritis. It can cause you to feel full or bloated, even after only eating a small amount of food. You may also experience more frequent burping or belching. Some people may also get heartburn, which is described as a burning sensation in the chest that may worsen with eating or laying down flat.
- Loss of Appetite: A lack of appetite or a feeling of early fullness with eating can be a symptom of gastritis.
- Dark Stools: Experiencing dark or tar-colored stools can indicate you have bleeding somewhere within the digestive tract. This can be serious, so it is important to speak with your doctor immediately if you notice it.
- Unintended Weight Loss: Weight loss without trying can often be due to a decreased appetite or difficulty eating due to other gastritis symptoms. If you have experienced weight loss without trying, speak to your doctor.
- Weakness and Fatigue: Feeling tired or lacking energy can be a symptom of gastritis. This usually occurs as the condition worsens and may be due to blood loss in cases where gastritis causes bleeding in the stomach and intestines.
When Should I See a Doctor for Gastritis Symptoms?
You should see a doctor for gastritis symptoms if you have severe pain, evidence of bleeding in the GI tract, or persistent symptoms. Your doctor will begin by taking a thorough medical history and performing a medical exam. They may also recommend an endoscopy (EGD). An endoscopy is performed by inserting a thin, flexible tube with a camera called an endoscope and passing it through your mouth and down into the stomach. This allows direct examination of the stomach lining. Your doctor can also take tissue samples for further testing if necessary.
Don’t live with the discomfort of gastritis – schedule an appointment today!