Signs and Symptoms of Gastritis

Symptoms of gastritis include the following:

  • Abdominal bloating (tenderness and swelling [distention])
  • Abdominal pain (indigestion or dyspepsia), often described as burning or gnawing
  • Belching (burping)
  • Dark stools
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Gastritis Complications

In many cases, gastritis resolves with conservative treatment (e.g., lifestyle modifications). Patients should see a physician if the symptoms are new, or if the symptoms persist or worsen in spite of treatment.

Complications associated with gastritis can be serious. Patients who experience any of the following symptoms should seek immediate medical care:

  • Bloody or dark, foul-smelling stools
  • Chest pain
  • Chronic vomiting that prevents eating, drinking, or taking medications
  • Faintness or pallor (paleness)
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Shortness of breath
  • Unexplained sweating
  • Vomiting blood or greenish-yellow matter

Complications associated with gastritis include the following:

  • Blood loss (may cause anemia [low red blood cell count])
  • Fluid retention and edema (swelling)
  • Scarring and narrowing of the stomach outlet (pylorus)
  • Ulcers

Patients who have chronic gastritis also are at increased risk for developing stomach cancer (gastric cancer).

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 29 Feb 2008

Last Modified: 13 Oct 2011