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What is gastritis?

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Gastritis is an irritation that occurs in the lining of the stomach, states WebMD. It can either be acute or chronic. In some people, this condition increases the risk of stomach ulcers, states Mayo Clinic. For most cases, gastritis is not a serious condition and clears up quickly with treatment.

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There are many causes of gastritis including severe vomiting, excessive alcohol use, stress and using certain medications such as anti-inflammatory drugs or aspirin, explains WebMD. It may also be caused by bile reflux, pernicious anemia, Helicobacter pylori and certain infections. Failure to seek treatment for gastritis can lead to severe blood loss and an increased risk of stomach cancer.

In many cases, there may not be any symptoms, states MedlinePlus. If symptoms appear, they may include vomiting, nausea, loss of appetite and abdominal pain. A patient may experience vomiting blood and black stools if the condition causes bleeding in the stomach lining. Other common symptoms include abdominal bloating, hiccups and indigestion, notes WebMD.

Treatment of gastritis depends on the underlying cause, states MedlinePlus. In some cases, the condition disappears without treatment over time. Patients may need to stop taking medications that trigger gastritis, such as naproxen, ibuprofen and aspirin. Doctors may recommend antacids, H2 antagonists and proton pump inhibitors.

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