What is gastritis? (overview)
Gastritis is characterised by a group of conditions causing inflammation that is most often the result of an infection. When there is inflammation, irritation, or erosion of the protective lining of the stomach, gastritis develops. Gastritis can be either acute or chronic, depending on the severity of the inflammation and for how long it is present in the body.
Acute gastritis occurs suddenly with more severe symptoms associated with inflammation. Chronic gastritis involves more long-term inflammation which may last for years if left untreated. Either form, if left untreated, can result in the development of ulcers or an increased risk of stomach cancer.
Erosive gastritis is another form of the condition, although it is less commonly diagnosed. Typically, erosive gastritis doesn’t cause such severe inflammation, however it can still cause bleeding and ulcers in the lining of the stomach.
The same bacterium that causes stomach ulcers can result in gastritis. Other known causes of this condition include injury, the habitual use of pain relievers (painkillers) or excessive alcohol consumption.
Gastritis isn’t too serious a condition and if treated, can quickly improve with little to no complications.