Inflammation of the stomach lining. This may be acute or chronic. Acute gastritis may be caused by irritation of the stomach lining by drugs, usually aspirin or other NSAIDs; by alcohol; or by infection with a bacterium. Severe physical stress, such as burns or liver failure, can bring on gastritis. Chronic gastritis may be due to prolonged irritation of the stomach by alcohol, tobacco- smoking, or bile; by an autoimmune disorder that damages the stomach lining (see anaemia, megaloblastic); or by degeneration of the lining with age. Symptoms include discomfort in the upper abdomen, nausea, and vomiting. In acute gastritis, the faeces may be blackened by blood lost from the stomach; in chronic gastritis, slow blood loss may lead to anaemia (see anaemia, iron-deficiency). Diagnosis is made with gastroscopy, during which a biopsy of the stomach lining may be performed. Ulcer-healing drugs may be given.


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