Gastritis refers to inflammation and swelling of the lining of the stomach. It is not uncommon for mild cases to be symptomless. Moderate to severe gastritis can cause a loss of appetite, pain in the upper part of the abdomen or nausea and vomiting.

Occasionally,  gastritis can cause bleeding in the stomach lining that may cause black stool. The bleeding can also cause some vomiting of blood or a material that resembles coffee grounds. Usually the situation resolves itself but chronic gastritis can continue for months or even years.

Gastritis is usually caused by excessive alcohol usage or prolonged use of certain medications. Those medications can include aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen. While it is less common, extreme stress or autoimmune disorders can also cause gastritis.

If you are experiencing symptoms of gastritis it is important to seek help. Ask your physician to refer you to a specialist at Asheville Gastroenterology Associates.