They will ask about your symptoms, your lifestyle, sleep patterns, stress levels, diet and about any medication that you are on to try and find out the cause.
The questions that the doctor will ask will also help them rule out any other underlying health conditions.
If the doctor can’t diagnose you over the video consultation right away, they may refer you to a specialist for tests to identify the cause of your symptoms, or for further tests.
These tests can include:
- Endoscopy - a flexible tube with a small camera lens at the tip is passed down your throat and into oesophagus and stomach. This can be used to see if there is inflammation and a small sample (biopsy) of the stomach lining may be taken if something unusual is detected.
- A stool test - to identify if you have a stomach infection or have bleeding in your stomach.
- A breath test - to confirm if there is a Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection present. The test involves drinking a glass of a tasteless, clear liquid containing radioactive carbon. You’ll blow into a bag and this can then be tested for the bacteria. The infection can also be tested for in a blood or stool test.
- X ray - you will be asked to drink a barium solution, which shows up clearly on X-rays as it travels through your oesophagus, stomach and small intestine, showing any abnormalities.
Complications of gastritis
Without a diagnosis and treatment, you may continue to experience the symptoms in the future and the gastritis could lead to more severe conditions, including:
- A stomach ulcer
- Bleeding in your stomach, which can lead to anaemia
- Stomach tumours (these may be cancerous or noncancerous)
- Polyps (small growths in your stomach)
Symptoms of gastritis to look out for include:
- Pain in your upper abdomen that comes and goes
- Feeling sick or retching
- Being sick
- Feeling full in your upper abdomen after eating
- Loss of appetite
Should I see a doctor about gastritis?
If you are experiencing the symptoms of gastritis and over-the-counter medication isn’t helping, it is severe, or you are worried, you can speak to one of our caring GPs.
If the doctor determines that your symptoms are being caused by gastritis, then they will prescribe a suitable treatment. If they can’t, they may refer you to a gastroenterologist for further investigation or for tests.
For the treatment to be effective, it will be tailored to your circumstances. You can read more about how gastritis can be treated.
- NHS, Gastritis: Diagnosing gastritis, 23/06/2016.
- Dr Colin Tidy. Pateint Info, Gastritis: What tests may be done?, 09/03/2018.