Causes of Gastritis

Gastritis is an inflammation of your stomach lining and can be acute (comes on suddenly and is short term) or chronic (comes on gradually or lasts a long time.) It is pretty common and there are several things that can cause it. These include:

  • A helicobacter pylori bacterial infection

Infections caused by helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria are relatively common, but as it does not always cause symptoms, you may not even know that you have it. If you suffer from indigestion on a regular basis, it could be a sign you have the bacteria in your system and the infection will usually last a lifetime unless it is treated.  Speak to one of our caring GPs if this is something you are worried about.

  • Taking ibuprofen, aspirin or other painkillers, known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • A stressful event
  • An infection caused by a bacteria or virus
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol
  • Excessive use of cocaine
  • Smoking
  • Regular vomiting
  • An autoimmune reaction, where the body’s immune system attacks the tissues and cells of the stomach lining – this is more common in people who have another kind of autoimmune condition, like type 1 diabetes.
  • Being older in age

Having a weak, thin or damaged stomach lining can trigger gastritis, as it allows digestive juices to damage it more easily. You are also more likely to catch a bacterial infection, like H. pylori, if you have a weak stomach lining.

Less commonly, gastritis may be triggered by a viral infection or by a digestive disorder, such as Crohn’s disease (IBD).

There are certain food and drink that you should try to avoid if you are diagnosed with gastritis, as they may trigger your symptoms or make them worse. You can avoid these while you recover, or in order to avoid the symptoms of gastritis in the future.

Foods to avoid include:

  • Acidic
  • Spicy
  • Overly hot
  • Processed or packaged foods

Avoid drinks that contain:

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine

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