Gastritis is the inflammation of the stomach lining, which can be acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term). If left untreated or if not managed properly, gastritis can lead to several complications, sometimes life threatening.

Causes of Gastritis:

Gastritis, an inflammation of the stomach lining, can have multiple causes. Here are some of the primary factors that contribute to the development of gastritis:

1. Infection

Helicobacter pylori: This bacterium is a major cause of gastritis and peptic ulcers. It damages the stomach lining, leading to inflammation.

2. Medications

Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs): Regular use of NSAIDs like aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen can irritate the stomach lining and cause gastritis.

Steroids: Long-term use of corticosteroids can also increase the risk.

3. Alcohol

Excessive alcohol consumption can irritate and erode the stomach lining, leading to inflammation and gastritis.

4. Chronic Vomiting

Frequent vomiting, whether due to illness, eating disorders, or other causes, can irritate the stomach lining.

5. Stress

Severe stress due to surgery, injury, burns, or severe infections can cause acute gastritis.

6. Bile Reflux

The backflow of bile from the bile tract (that connects to the liver and gallbladder) into the stomach can irritate the stomach lining.

7. Autoimmune Disorders

In some cases, the body's immune system attacks the stomach lining, leading to autoimmune gastritis.

8. Food and Diet

Certain foods, especially spicy and acidic foods, can trigger gastritis in sensitive individuals.

9. Other Medical Conditions

Diseases such as Crohn’s disease, sarcoidosis, and infections caused by bacteria and viruses can lead to gastritis.

10. Aging

As people age, the stomach lining thins and changes, making it more susceptible to damage from factors such as H. pylori infection and NSAIDs.

11. Chemical Irritants

Ingesting or being exposed to chemicals, such as those found in certain poisons and corrosives, can lead to acute gastritis.

Symptoms of Gastritis:

The symptoms include:

  • Upper abdominal pain or stomach cramps or discomfort
  • Bloating and gas
  • loss of appetite
  • indigestion
  • nausea or vomiting
  • in severe cases, vomiting blood (looks like coffee grounds) or black stools

Diagnosis of Gastritis:

Diagnosis of gastritis is based on:

  • Medical history and physical examination
  • Endoscopy with biopsy
  • Blood tests for anaemia or H. pylori
  • Stool tests
  • Breath test for H. pylori

Differential Diagnosis:

Gastritis and Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are two common digestive disorders that can cause abdominal pain and discomfort and therefore need to be differentiated. However, they affect different parts of the digestive system and have different causes.


  • Inflammation of the inner lining of the stomach.
  • Caused by infection with the bacteria Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), certain medications, alcohol use, autoimmune conditions, and bile reflux.
  • May cause upper abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and heartburn.
  • Diagnosed with a blood test, stool test, endoscopy, or upper GI series.
  • Treated with medication to reduce stomach acid, antibiotics to kill H. pylori infection, and avoiding substances that irritate the stomach.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

  • Functional disorder of the intestines that causes cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation.
  • Exact cause is unknown, but it's thought to be related to abnormal muscle contractions in the gut, nerve sensitivity in the gut, and stress.
  • Doesn't cause permanent damage to your digestive system.
  • Diagnosed based on symptoms, not a specific test.
  • Treated with dietary changes, stress management, and medication.

Here's a table summarizing the key differences between gastritis and IBS:

Complications of Gastritis:

If left untreated or if not managed properly, gastritis can lead to several complications. These complications can range from mild to severe, potentially affecting overall health significantly. Here are some potential complications of gastritis:

1. Peptic Ulcers

Chronic gastritis can lead to the formation of peptic ulcers, which are open sores that develop on the inner lining of the stomach or the upper part of the small intestine. Ulcers can cause significant pain and bleeding.

2. Bleeding

Gastritis can cause erosion of the stomach lining, leading to bleeding. This can result in symptoms such as vomiting blood (hematemesis) or passing black, tarry stools (melena). Severe bleeding can lead to anemia and may require medical intervention.

3. Pernicious Anemia

Chronic gastritis, especially autoimmune gastritis, can lead to a reduction in the stomach’s ability to absorb vitamin B12. This can result in pernicious anemia, a condition characterized by a deficiency in red blood cells due to impaired absorption of vitamin B12.

4. Atrophic Gastritis

Over time, chronic gastritis can lead to the thinning and weakening of the stomach lining, a condition known as atrophic gastritis. This can reduce the stomach’s ability to produce digestive acids and enzymes, affecting digestion and nutrient absorption.

5. Gastric Polyps

In some cases, chronic gastritis can lead to the development of gastric polyps, which are growths on the lining of the stomach. While most polyps are benign, some types can increase the risk of stomach cancer.

6. Stomach Cancer

Chronic gastritis, particularly when caused by Helicobacter pylori infection or associated with atrophic gastritis, increases the risk of developing stomach cancer. The prolonged inflammation and cellular changes in the stomach lining can lead to malignant transformations.

7. Gastrointestinal Obstruction

Severe inflammation or scarring from chronic gastritis can lead to narrowing of the pyloric valve (the opening between the stomach and small intestine), causing a blockage that can interfere with the passage of food.

Symptoms Indicating Complications

  • Severe or persistent abdominal pain
  • Significant weight loss
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Persistent vomiting
  • Signs of bleeding (vomiting blood or black stools)
  • Symptoms of anemia (fatigue, weakness, pallor)

If any of the above symptoms are seen, one should immediately contact their healthcare provider.

Prevention of Gastritis:

Avoid irritants: Limit the use of NSAIDs, reduce alcohol intake, and avoid spicy and acidic foods.

Healthy diet: Eat a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Stress management: Practice stress-reducing techniques like yoga, meditation, and regular exercise.

Treatment: Follow medical advice for treating underlying conditions and infections, and take medications as prescribed by your healthcare provider.


  • Dietary changes (e.g., avoiding trigger foods and including probiotics)
  • Lifestyle changes (e.g., reducing NSAID use, limiting alcohol, practicing yoga, etc.)
  • Medication (to manage symptoms)

Homeopathic Remedies for Gastritis:

Gastritis causes a great deal of discomfort and distress. Painful bloating, cramping and other gastric symptoms can make daily life difficult. Homeopathy has a proven track record in helping alleviate chronic symptoms. 

Both IBS and gastritis are manageable with appropriate medical care, dietary adjustments, and lifestyle changes. However, while IBS is a functional disorder of the gut, gastritis is an inflammatory condition of the stomach lining, and their treatments and management strategies differ accordingly. Homeopathic medicines for gastritis help treat the symptoms, by reducing their severity with time. The most prominent homeopathic medicines used symptomatically for gastritis, IBS and other digestive tract issues include Lycopodium, Nux-vomica, Veratrum-album, Belladonna, Antim-crude, Phosphorus, Hyoscyamus, Arsenic alb, Bryonia, Podophyllum, Asafoetida, Sulphur, Argentum-nitricum, etc. Some of them are described in detail here:

1. Lycopodium-clavatum

This remedy is well-suited to people with gastritis & food intolerances, especially onions, oysters, cabbage and beans. It is an important medicine to deal with excessive gas, fullness and bloating. The abdomen feels full and distended soon after eating anything even in small quantity. Gas and bloating are most marked in lower abdomen. Worsening of complaint may occur in evening hours especially between 4 pm to 8 pm, and complaints are relieved from passing wind. The inflamed digestive tract struggles to get enough nutrition from food, so there can be loss of weight. The appetite is very changeable and can go from being ravenous to very full after a few mouthfuls. Alteration between diarrhea and constipation is yet another indicator to use this remedy.

2. Nux-vomica

It is a top remedy for gastritis, esp. chronic gastritis. This remedy suits people who burn the candle at both ends, working hard and playing harder. Eventually, this stressful lifestyle takes its toll, and the digestive system suffers. There are severe stomach cramps and acid reflux that are aggravated by mental exertion. Hiccough, belching, fullness and indigestion are worse after coffee, spicy foods and smoking. There can also be a lot of nausea and feelings of being seasick. The prominent symptom calling for its use is frequent ineffectual urge to pass stool. There is passage of a small quantity of stool or poop very frequently. There is constant urge to pass stool. Inspite of passing stool a number of times, there is dissatisfaction as if bowels are still not completely empty popularly known as a ‘never get done feeling’.

Abdomen pain lessens for a very short time after stool, but it renews soon after stool expulsion, along with an urge to pass stool again. When some peculiar food like spicy food, coffee, and alcoholic drinks worsens the condition, then Nux Vomica is the best choice. The worsening of condition after anger spells is also an important marker for using Nux Vomica.

3. Veratrum-album

Characteristic symptom is extreme bloating of abdomen just after eating anything. There is stomach acidity with a great deal of bloating & bitter or sour belching. The appetite swings from being ravenous to being completely off food, with a feeling of fullness after eating a small amount. Fruit and milk aggravate, and the pains are pressing or sore. Digestion in general is very slow.

4. Arsenicum-album

Stomach cramps that are worse after taking cold. This remedy suits people who always feel chilly. These people may have an upset stomach from eating cold food or ice cream, which aggravates. There is a great deal of diarrhoea that can come on after drinking whilst moving around makes everything worse. Taking regular sips of a warm drink and lying down to rest bring relief.

5. Argentum-nitricum

Argentum-nitricum is a remedy for diarrhoea and anxiety. It will best treat IBS with marked diarrhea in people with chronic anxiety, especially anticipatory anxiety. Anticipatory anxiety means anxiety arising from overthinking about events that are to take place in the future. Other than this, they may have anxiety every time they have to appear in public, crowds or in public meetings. The anxiety results in diarrhea with frequent stools. Such persons are impatient by nature and do everything in haste. In this remedy there is a lot of wind, with very loud and forceful belching or flatulence. There is nausea and indigestion associated with nerves or anxiety, especially when anticipating a stressful event like a job interview or exam.

6. Belladonna

Stomach cramps aggravated by touch, with burning pains worse in the morning and at night. Appetite is usually increased, especially around 11am with an ‘all-gone’ sensation. The stomach feels very heavy straight after eating.

7. Antim-crude

It is an acute remedy and can be used to manage an acute episode of loose motions, where the stool may be accompanied by passage of a large quantity of gas. The key indication to use it is an urge to pass stool soon after eating/drinking anything. There is urgency to pass stool, the person needs to literally rush to the toilet. It may be felt that stool will also pass along with the gas if not rushed to the toilet. Sometimes mucus may be expelled along with stool. Pain in the abdomen before and during stool occurs. The abdominal pain vanishes after passing stool. Aloe helps in regularizing the intestinal movements since they are at an increased pace in patients with IBS.

8. Bryonia-alba

A useful remedy in gastritis for constipation with dry, hard, large stool and a bloated abdomen. The stool is excessively dry as if burnt. Stool is passed with much difficulty. Burning in anus on passing stool may be observed. Headache from constipation is another indication for using Bryonia Alba. Condition is aggravated after eating bread and generally the thirst is increased. The stomach may feel so heavy that it is like a stone is sitting there. Belching relieves the pain and tastes of undigested food. Tight clothing and walking about also worsen the condition.

9. Hyoscyamus

Indigestion after too much starchy food with sour belching & terrible hiccough. There are painful stomach cramps, aggravated by touch. Strong emotions such as grief or brooding on the past disagreeable issues can aggravate the condition.

10. Phosphorus

It is an important remedy for gastritis, esp. in dangerous cases when bleeding has started. it should not be taken without the supervision of a Homeopathic physician. 

Healthy ways to Manage Gastritis:

Apart from Homeopathy, certain lifestyle changes might help you recover faster. Some of these are:

1. Take small meals at a time and increase water intake.

2. Diet changes: Avoid taking certain food items might help. If constipated, take more fiber diet like fruits, vegetables, nuts. Using probiotic food (probiotic food refers to food that contains good friendly bacteria for e.g. yoghurt) can improve symptoms.

3. Avoid smoking and alcohol 

5. Take proper sleep, manage stress and exercise regularly.

Using appropriate medicines at the right time might save you from unnecessary hospital visits, chaos and a long-term illness. Timely intervention might help you save your time, energy and money. Self-diagnosis and self-medication are never recommended. Visit your Homeopathic physician before taking any medicines. For online consultation or any related queries consult our expert homeopathic doctors and book an appointment with us.

Disclaimer: The author disclaims all liability for any loss or risk, personal or otherwise incurred as a consequence of use of any material in this article. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.