To diagnose gastritis, the physician takes a medical history and performs a physical examination. The patient's medical history includes information about previous health issues, lifestyle factors (e.g., tobacco and alcohol use), over-the-counter and medications (including herbal supplements and vitamins) and current symptoms. A physical examination is performed to assess general health and locate areas of discomfort, such as abdominal tenderness.
Diagnostic tests usually are not required to make an initial diagnosis of gastritis; however, there are several diagnostic procedures that can be used to rule out other conditions or to confirm the diagnosis.
These tests include the following:
- Laboratory tests (e.g., blood tests, stool tests, urine tests; used to diagnose H. pylori infection, anemia, pregnancy)
- Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD; endoscopic procedure used to examine the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum) and biopsy
- Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG; used to measure electrical activity in the heart)
- Upper gastrointestinal x-ray