Gastritis is an inflammation of the lining of the stomach.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Gastritis can be caused by bacterial or viral infection, autoimmune disorders, or backflow of bile into the stomach (bile reflux).

Gastritis can also be caused by irritation from:

  • Medications (such as aspirin or anti-inflammatory drugs)  
  • Alcohol  
  • Chronic vomiting  
  • Excess gastric acid secretion (such as from stress)  
  • Eating or drinking caustic or corrosive substances (such as poisons)

Gastritis can occur suddenly (acute gastritis) or gradually (chronic gastritis).

See also:

  • Stress gastritis  
  • Helicobacter pylori gastritis  
  • Chronic gastritis  
  • Acute gastritis


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

Signs and tests
Tests vary depending on the specific cause. An upper GI X-ray, EGD, or other tests may be advised.

Treatment depends on the specific cause. Some of the causes will resolve over time. Medications to decrease stomach acid secretion may be recommended.

Expectations (prognosis)
The outlook depends on the cause, but is usually good.

See the specific types of gastritis.

Calling your health care provider
Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you develop gastritis symptoms.

Avoid long-term use of irritants (such as aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, or alcohol).

Johns Hopkins patient information

Last revised: December 7, 2012
by Mamikon Bozoyan, M.D.

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