Gastritis and Peptic Ulcer Disease

Unhealthy young woman with stomachache leaning on the bed at home.


Gastritis and Peptic Ulcer Disease

Gastritis is a general term for inflammation of the lining of your stomach, which can be due to various causes. Some common causes of gastritis may include an infection with a bacterium called H pylori, chronic use of certain pain relievers, or excessive consumption of alcohol or tobacco use. Untreated gastritis and inflammation may sometimes progress to a deeper wound within the lining of the stomach or small intestine called peptic ulcer disease.  

You should see your Saint John’s Physician Partners doctor if you have any symptoms of gastritis or peptic ulcer for a proper diagnosis and treatment. 


Gastritis and Peptic Ulcer Symptoms

Since gastritis and peptic ulcer exhibit similar signs and symptoms make an appointment with your doctor is an important step towards diagnosis and proper treatment.

For some, gastritis and peptic ulcers may be present without any symptoms. However, symptoms that may be present may include:

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A Gnawing or burning pain in your upper abdomen

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Nausea and/or vomiting

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A feeling of fullness in your upper abdomen after eating or early satiety

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Bloating or belching

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Intolerance of certain foods

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Dark stools

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Difficulty swallowing

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Changes in your appetite

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Unexplained weight loss


Gastritis and Peptic Ulcer Diagnosis

Besides a medical history and physical exam, your doctor may order the following tests to diagnose gastritis and peptic ulcer:

H. pylori Breath Testing 

H. pylori tests such as blood, stool or breath tests.  The H. pylori breath test is the most accurate.

Upper Endoscopy

An upper endoscopy uses a camera to examine your upper digestive system.

Barium swallow test

Barium swallow test is a series of X-rays of your upper digestive system that creates images of your esophagus, stomach and small intestine. These tests are done less commonly now.  


Gastritis and Peptic Ulcer Treatments

The treatment for gastritis and peptic ulcer may be similar and may include: 

  • Antibiotics for treatment of H. pylori if the bacterium is the cause. 
  • Proton pump inhibitors such as Prilosec®, Prevacid® or Nexium®. 
  • Acid blockers, called histamine (H-2) blockers such as Pepcid AC®, Tagamet® and Axid AR®. 
  • Antacids that neutralize stomach acid. 
  • Probiotics. 
  • Lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking and limited alcohol use. 

Your Saint John’s Physician Partners gastroenterologist will determine, recommend and discuss your specific treatment options as well as risks and benefits so you can make an informed decision on the best treatment for you. 

A doctor speaking with his patient


Gastritis and Peptic Ulcer Specialists

1301 20th St., Suite 280, Santa Monica, CA 90404

1301 20th St., Suite 280, Santa Monica, CA 90404

1301 20th St., Suite 280, Santa Monica, CA 90404

1301 20th St., Suite 280, Santa Monica, CA 90404

1301 20th St., Suite 280, Santa Monica, CA 90404

1301 20th St., Suite 280, Santa Monica, CA 90404