The principal symptoms of gastritis include loss of appetite, sickness or nausea, headache, etc. Abdominal pain is considered a major symptom of gastritis. People suffering from gastritis usually feel abdominal upset or pain in the upper part of the abdomen. It is sometimes referred to as dyspepsia. Pain can occur in the left upper portion of the abdomen and in the back also and it seems to travel from the belly to the back. The pain may be felt after eating and may return later severely as well. The severity of abdominal pain varies widely. Usually, mild pain or discomfort is felt in case of acute stress gastritis. Sometimes, a similarly mild or a sharper pain can occur in erosive gastritis, atrophic gastritis and Menetrier's disease.
Sometimes, the abdominal pain may be associated with sour eructation and frequent vomiting that includes first of food and then of bilious matter. In case of moderate gastritis, the common symptoms include bloating and a feeling of fullness or burning in the upper abdomen. The symptoms of severe gastritis are pallor, sweating, rapid heart beat; feeling faint or short of breath; severe chest or stomach pain; dark, sticky, foul-smelling bowel movements, etc.
In case of erosive gastritis and Menetrier's disease, bleeding in the stomach is a common symptom. This bleeding may cause haematemesis (vomiting blood) or melaena (tarry black stool). The stress-induced gastritis also has a particularly high risk of bleeding and in this case, bleeding may be particularly extensive or even life-threatening. Here, the bleeding may begin within just a few days from the onset of gastritis. However, bleeding tends to develop more gradually in other types of gastritis. The other common symptoms of gastritis include Diarrhoea, Heartburn, Hiccups, Anaemia, fatigue, weakness, light-headedness, indigestion, coated tongue, foul breath, bad taste in the mouth, increased flow of saliva, scanty urination, etc.
Any or all the above mentioned symptoms of gastritis can occur all of a sudden. This possibility is particularly higher among the people aged above 65 years. The elderly people may also experience no symptoms of gastritis at all, until they suddenly become ill with internal bleeding. Sometimes, the symptoms of gastritis may be present despite only a few minor changes in the stomach lining. However, the symptoms are not severe in most patients and it is also not considered as serious condition until accompanied by ulcer. It is advisable for a person to consult physician if he is experiencing the symptoms for more than two or three consecutive days.
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