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Latest Edit: Hector 2014-05-14 (EDT)

Causes Food Reactions, Infections, Alcohol, Stress, Prescription Medications
See Also Digestive Conditions, hypochlorhydria, Pernicious anemia, Gastroesophageal reflux disease
Books Books on Digestive and Liver Conditions
Articles Articles on Digestive Conditions

Gastritis occurs when the lining of the stomach becomes inflamed. Acute gastritis is a transient condition, describing inflammation of the stomach lining, as a reaction in response to irritants. Chronic gastritis involves atrophy of the mucosa, therefore impairing normal function.[1]

Naturopathic Assessment

Causal Factors

In order to stimulate the innate ability of the body to heal the causes of disease must be identified and addressed. The primary cause of gastritis is due to infections or the use of prescription medications yet there are other causes that also need to be considered.


  • A common cause of atrophic gastritis is infection from the bacteria, Helicobacter pylori
  • Other viral infections that can result in gastritis include the cytomegalovirus and herpes simplex virus, especially in people with a weak immune system.


  • Increased long-term consumption of alcohol may lead to gastritis.


  • Extreme stress is associated with increased risk of gastritis.

Medical Interventions

  • Prescription Medications
  • Use of certain medications such as the following may lead to gastritis: Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Naproxen or other anti-inflammatories.
  • Medical Treatments
  • Trauma or a severe, sudden illness such as major surgery, kidney failure, or being placed on a breathing machine may cause gastritis.


  • Poisons
  • Eating or drinking caustic or corrosive substances (such as poisons) can result in gastritis.
  • Drugs
  • Cocaine abuse is associated with increased risk of gastritis.

Diagnostic Testing


Gastritis is typically diagnosed based on a thorough history and a person's symptoms. Gastritis will often resolve on its own, but if necessary the following diagnostic tests may be indicated:

  • Stool Analysis may be indicated to asses for blood in the stool.
  • Imaging Studies such as an Esophagogastroduodenoscopy

Related Symptoms and Conditions

Symptoms commonly associated with or caused by gastritis include:

Common Symptoms

Gastritis may by asymptomatic, however some commonly experienced symptoms include:

Symptoms that warrant immediate medical attention:

  • Black stools
  • Vomiting of blood that may look like coffee grinds

Naturopathic Treatment

The goal of naturopathic treatment is to support and work in tandem with the healing power of the body and to address the causal factors of disease with individual treatment strategies. Gastritis is an acute condition, yet if not treated appropriately it may develop into a chronic disease Gastritis.

It is always advisable to work with a naturopathic doctor before engaging in any treatment plan.

  • Castor oil abdominal rub


Lifestyle recommendations include:

  • In acute gastritis it may be beneficial to do a water fast for 24 to 48 hours at the initial onset of the symptoms to provide the digestive system with the opportunity to heal.
  • Avoid all food allergies and food sensitivities until the symptoms have resolved.
  • Eliminate dairy products.
  • Avoid all sugar, fried food, processed or fatty food.
  • Eat smaller meals and ensure that you chew your food well.
  • Ensure you drink adequate water.
  • Adequate sleep is required to assist the body in healing from any acute infection.

Naturopathic Therapies

The prescribing of naturopathic therapies requires the guidance of a naturopathic doctor as it depends on a number of factors including the causal factors, a person's age, prescription medications, other conditions and symptoms and overall health. It is always advisable to work with a naturopathic doctor prior to taking any natural therapies.

Naturopathic Therapies for Gastritis include:


Reviewed by Iva Lloyd, BScH, RPE, ND [1]

  1. Croft DN (1967 Oct) Gastritis Br Med J; Vol4(5572):164-6 PMID: 4861383.