Gastritis symptoms

What are the symptoms of gastritis?

Nutritional Practitioner, BA (Hons), DN, DNT (Distinction)
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An introduction to the symptoms of gastritis

The symptoms of gastritis vary and can depend on the cause of the issue. In some cases symptoms are severe, although, relatively short-lived or they could be long-lasting but less debilitating.

On this page, we discuss some of the common symptoms to look out for.

Stomach pain

As the stomach is inflamed and often damaged in gastritis, this can be painful. Acute gastritis is frequently characterised by severe and sharp pains whereas in chronic episodes the pain may be dull and less pronounced. The pain is often a result of indigestion or acid reflux as the stomach struggles to effectively digest your latest meal.


Indigestion is the improper digestion of your food. This can occur occasionally, say, after a particularly heavy meal, however, it is much more likely to arise if your stomach is not in optimal condition. Symptoms of indigestion include bloating, belching, acid reflux, and pain higher up in the abdomen under the ribs.

Loss of appetite

During inflammation your stomach kick-starts a protective response, resulting in you feeling less hungry. This allows the stomach to avoid the burden of excess food (potentially adding to the inflammation depending on your choice!) and instead, concentrate on some valuable healing time.

Nausea or vomiting

In a similar way, but to a greater extreme, nausea and even vomiting is another protective mechanism of the stomach. If something is irritating the stomach, such as a pathogen, our body reacts by trying to expel it and vomiting is induced.

Blood in vomit or stools

In severe inflammation or in cases of erosive gastritis, your stomach may bleed. This can be short-lived and resolve itself, or in some cases it may be a more serious problem. When vomiting you may notice small coffee-like grains or more noticeable red blood. Bloody stools may be harder to recognise but look out for a black tarry consistency. Blood in your vomit or stools should not be ignored and you should always seek medical advice is this is evident.

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Did you know?

Your diet can have an impact on your susceptibility to gastritis, especially if you indulge in plenty of fatty foods and refined sugars which can increase the population of unfriendly bacteria in your gut. Instead try to encourage the growth of friendly bacteria in your gut by taking a prebiotic rich in L+ lactic acid.

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