Gastritis is an inflammation of the stomach. When the stomach is inflamed, the lining of your stomach swollen and painful. Inflammation occurs when white blood cells move into the wall of the stomach as a response to an injury to the stomach. It does not mean that a person has a stomach ulcer or stomach cancer.

What causes gastritis?

Gastritis can be caused by infection, irritation, autoimmune disorders, or backflow of bile into the stomach. Infections can be bacterial or viral. Irritation can also be caused by medications. Long term use of common medications like aspirin or anti-inflammatory drugs could also cause it. Other stomach irritants are: alcohol, chronic vomiting, excess gastric acid secretion, and eating poisons.

Inflammation of the stomach can occur suddenly (acute gastritis) or gradually (chronic gastritis). Some of the disorders associated with it are:

  • stress gastritis
  • Helicobacter pylori gastritis
  • autoimmune gastritis

Signs and symptoms of gastritis?

Sometimes there are no symptoms at all. When symptoms are present, some of the most common symptoms are:

  • hiccups
  • abdominal indigestion
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • vomiting blood or coffee-ground like material
  • black stools

Children with gastritis

Children also experience gastritis and is often caused by a viral illness (flu), something your child ate or drank, or a as a complication from medicine.

If your child has gastritis, call your doctor if your child is having problems and be sure to make and go to all follow-up appointments.

Alcoholic gastritis symptoms

The symptoms of gastritis called by excessive alcohol consumption are similar to the signs listed above. The major difference is the cause. Excessive alcohol consumption causes gastritis by irritating the stomach lining until it becomes inflamed. This inflammation is more likely to occur if the individual regularly abuses alcohol. When alcohol is consumed in excessive amounts over long periods of time, the stomach does not have enough time to recover from the irritation to the lining. Continued alcohol consumption may cause the stomach lining to bleed and cause stomach ulcers.

If your doctor believes you have gastritis, they may order an endoscopy, or a stool or breath test.

  • Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
    • A thin tube containing a tiny camera will be inserted into your stomach. The camera will allow the doctor to look into your stomach to examine the stomach lining. The doctor will check for inflammation and may remove a tiny sample (biopsy) of tissue for tests.
  • Stool Test
    • Blood in your stool is a sign of bleeding and can indicate gastritis. The stool sample can also be tested for Helicobacter pylori.
  • Breath Test
    • After drinking a specific type of liquid or swallowing a capsule, your breath can be tested to see if Helicobacter pylori are present in your stomach.

How long does acute gastritis last?

Acute gastritis is a sudden inflammation or swelling in the lining of the stomach. It often causes severe and nagging stomach pain. The pain is temporary and usually lasts for 2-10 days at a time. It comes on suddenly, and can be caused by injury, bacteria, viruses, stress, or ingesting irritants such as alcohol, NSAIDs, steroids, or spicy food.

Tips to prevent gastritis

The best way to prevent developing inflammation of the stomach is to avoid long-term use of irritants, such as aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, and alcohol.

CBD and gastritis

CBD (cannabidiol) and CBDa have been touted as remedies to conditions ranging from depression to Alzheimers. Early studies of CBD has shown that it can reduce several types of symptoms. However, its effectiveness varies significantly from person to person and depends on many factors, including the CBD to THC ratio, the severity of the condition, and whether it is hemp-based or cannabis based.

If you are considering adding CBD to your treatment options, first consult with your doctor or a doctor who is experienced in prescribing medicinal cannabis.

Questions to ask our doctor about CBD

  • Has CBD been used to treat gastritis?
  • What type of stomach relief should I expect while taking CBD?
  • What are the possible side effects
  • What is the best way to take CBD?
    • Orally (edibles, tinctures, oils)
    • Smoke
    • Topical (creams, lotions, oils)
  • How long will it take for me to experience relief?
  • What dosage do I need?
  • How often do I need to take it?
  • Should I take broad spectrum, isolate, or full spectrum CBD products?
  • Will symptoms return if I stop taking it?
  • What emergency symptoms indicate I should visit an Urgent Care center?
  • Will CBD help with my nausea?

How is gastritis treated?

Is it important to seek treatment, if left untreated, it may lead to a stomach ulcer.

Medicines for gastritis

OTC and crescription medications will be prescribed to treat gastritis


  • Magnesium-containing antacids may cause diarrhea.
    • This is not advised for people with kidney problems
  • Aluminum-containing antacids can cause constipation
  • Calcium-containing antacids will help control stomach acid and also supplement body calcium (which is important for postmenopausal women).
  • Antacids can cause side effects which will change body’s ability to absorb certain other medications.
    • Only take medications with antacids after checking with a pharmacist or doctor.

Stronger prescription medications that protect the stomach’s lining or lessen acid production in the stomach.

  • Histamine (H2) blockers reduce acid secretion in the stomach.
    • Relieves pain and other symptoms.

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are strong blockers of the stomach’s ability to secrete acid.

  • A health-care professional who prescribes one of these medications (Prevacid, Prilosec, and Losec) will often consult with  a gastroenterologist.

Coating agents protect the stomach’s lining.

  • Sucralfate (Carafate): Coats and protects the stomach lining.
  • Misoprostol (Cytotec) protects the stomach lining and is used as a preventive measure for people taking NSAIDs who are at a high risk of developing stomach damage.

Antibiotics may be prescribed if H pylori is the cause.

Antiemetics help control nausea and vomiting.

Questions to ask your doctor about gastritis

  • What caused my gastritis?
  • Does my lifestyle have anything to do with it ? (Eating spicy food, wrong time of the day….)
  • What is the treatment option?
  • How long will I have to have the treatment?
  • What is the side effects of treatment?
  • Will gastritis stop if I change my diet?
  • What medications are there to treat gastritis?
  • Will the gastritis medicine interact with my current medicine?
  • Can I continue to take vitamins while taking the gastritis medicine?
  • Will I have gastritis forever?

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