The severe symptoms of gastritis include loss of appetite, abdominal pain, black or tarry stools, and vomiting blood or material that looks like coffee grounds, according to WebMD. Nausea, bloating, indigestion, hiccups, and a burning or gnawing feeling in the stomach are other gastritis symptoms.
Gastritis is a condition that involves inflammation, irritation or erosion of the stomach lining, explains WebMD. Potential causes of gastritis include excessive alcohol consumption, stress, chronic vomiting and the use of anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen and aspirin. Bile reflux, pernicious anemia and infections, such as Helicobacter pylori, are other causes of gastritis. To diagnose gastritis, doctors may test the stool for blood, perform blood tests or conduct an upper endoscopy procedure, which allows them to look at the stomach lining and perform biopsies if needed.
Gastritis typically improves quickly with the proper treatment, according to WebMD. Treatment involves dietary changes, which include avoiding hot and spicy foods as well as potentially irritating foods, such as those with lactose and gluten. Antacids and other acid-reducing medications, such as H-2 receptor blockers and proton pump inhibitors, may also be prescribed. Doctors prescribe antibiotics if the gastritis is caused by a Helicobacter pylori infection. If left untreated, gastritis may lead to significant blood loss and increase the risk for developing stomach cancer.