Stomachache Due To Gastritis? Here’s What You Need To Know!

December 22, 2023
Stomachache Due To Gastritis? Here's What You Need To Know!

Stomachaches are a common condition that affects everybody from time to time. It occurs between your pelvis and chest and can be caused by several factors, from gallbladder attacks and constipation to GERD and acid reflux. However, there is one potential cause that most are not aware of, which is gastritis.


Gastritis is a gastrointestinal condition that results in the swelling of the stomach lining, causing various digestive discomfort and symptoms. In this article, we will dive deeper into the condition to help you manage and prevent it from occurring to you.


What is gastritis?

Gastritis is the swelling and inflammation of the stomach lining and is one of the common gastrointestinal conditions.


The stomach is protected by a layer of mucus called gastric mucosa. It protects the stomach from the enzymes and strong stomach acids that, together, help to break down and digest food. Gastritis happens when the protective lining gets damaged or is weakened, causing changes that can only be detected through biopsies.


Gastritis can be categorised into four fundamental types:


  • Acute gastritis: It is the sudden inflammation of the gastric mucosa and typically lasts for a short period of time. It is usually caused by severe infection, burns, trauma, surgery, toxins, overconsumption of alcohol, and consumption of NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs).


  • Chronic gastritis: It is prolonged inflammation or irritation of the gastric mucosa, often caused by Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacterial infection.


  • Erosive gastritis: It is not as common as the above types and generally does not result in too much inflammation. However, it can cause ulcers and bleeding to develop in the stomach lining.


  • Non-erosive gastritis: It occurs when the stomach lining inflames without any development of ulcers or bleeding.


What causes gastritis?

Most cases of gastritis are a result of regular or overuse of NSAIDs or an H. pylori infection. In fact, H. pylori infection is a common factor in a lot of upper gastrointestinal conditions. About 31% of Singapore’s population is affected by the bacterial infection.


Other causes of gastritis include bile reflux, autoimmune disorders like Hashimoto’s disease and type 1 diabetes, stress, excessive consumption of alcohol, as well as other factors, such as Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, HIV/AIDS, age, and smoking.


What are the signs of gastritis?

Like all gastrointestinal conditions, gastritis’s symptoms can vary from mild to severe. Depending on the type of gastritis you may have, some might not even experience any noticeable symptoms.


Yet, some of the common symptoms include:


  • Upper abdominal pain


  • Burning sensation in the upper abdomen


  • Indigestion and nausea


  • Bloody vomit


  • Feeling full immediately after eating or loss of appetite


  • Stomach discomfort due to bloating


  • Black stools due to bleeding


  • Weight loss


  • Hiccups


It is vital that you make an immediate gastroenterology visit if the symptoms last for at least a week or as soon as you vomit or pass out blood.


What are the related diseases and complications of gastritis?

Gastritis can be associated with:


1. Anaemia

Erosive gastritis can cause gastrointestinal bleeding, leading to the development of anaemia, where your levels of red blood cells decrease, causing dizziness, weakness, and breathing difficulties.


2. Pernicious anaemia

Gastritis as a result of an autoimmune disorder may adversely affect your body’s absorption of vitamin B12, resulting in the development of pernicious anaemia and causing numbness and weakness in your feet and hands.


3. Peritonitis

Gastritis can cause ulcers to develop in your stomach. When that happens, you run the risk of allowing stomach content to spill out of your stomach and into your abdomen, causing bacteria to grow and spread. This leads to the development of peritonitis, which is the inflammation of the inner abdominal wall lining and can lead to sepsis, which is life-threatening.


4. Stomach cancer

Gastritis as a result of autoimmune disorders and H. pylori can increase your risk of developing tumours in your stomach lining, causing stomach cancer.


How is gastritis diagnosed and treated?

Because of its common symptoms, gastritis can often be overlooked for other gastrointestinal conditions. Hence, a gastroenterologist will usually run a series of tests to diagnose gastritis, such as imaging and breath tests, upper endoscopy, stool tests, blood tests, as well as physical and medical history examinations.


Once you have been diagnosed as having gastritis, the treatment is often focused on targeting the underlying cause. That means if it is caused by NSAIDs, then stopping its use will treat gastritis.


Other treatments may include:



  • Antibiotics to treat H. pylori


  • H2 blockers or proton pump inhibitors to reduce stomach acid production


  • Antacids neutralise stomach acids and relieve pain


Lifestyle modifications:

  • Avoiding consuming drinks and foods that cause stomach irritation


  • Eating several smaller meals rather than a large meal


  • Cutting smoking and alcohol


  • Treating underlying conditions


  • Managing and reducing stress levels



Gastritis may disrupt your everyday life, causing mild to severe pain and discomfort. However, knowing how it happens can help you to take control of your life and prevent it from happening to you. Nevertheless, if you experience any of the aforementioned signs and symptoms, especially when bleeding is involved, then get yourself checked immediately.


Here at GUTCARE, we are able to diagnose and treat your gastritis, ensuring that you enjoy a healthy digestive system. From various symptoms, such as pancreas cancer symptoms and IBS symptoms, our team is experienced and knowledgeable in nursing you back to optimal health.


Click here to make an appointment with us today!



About-us-Have-an-enquiry-scaled 1-min

You may also send in an enquiry via our online form if you have questions pertaining to your visit or consultation.

Find doctor thumbn

Unsure of which doctor to speak to? Take a look at our doctors’ profile to find out more.