Northside Health Library


Stress gastritis

Definition

Stress gastritis is swelling (inflammation) and weakening of the stomach lining that occurs during a serious illness.

Alternative Names

Stress ulcer

Causes

Stress gastritis may occur after:

  • Burns
  • Severe illness
  • Shock
  • Trauma

The risk of stress gastritis and ulcers is highest in patients who are using a breathing machine in an intensive care unit.

Exams and Tests

If the stress gastritis is severe, it may cause ulcers and bleeding.

Unlike the typical peptic ulcer, stress ulcers may first be recognized by gastrointestinal bleeding that causes you to vomit blood or pass dark blood in the stool.

Treatment

Your doctor can best decide whether you need medicines to prevent stress gastritis.

Prevention

Patients usually get medicines to avoid stress gastritis if they are receiving mechanical ventilation in an intensive care unit, or if they have bleeding disorders.

References

Chan FKL, Lau JYW. Treatment of peptic ulcer disease. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2010:chap 53.

Malagelada JR, Kuipers EJ, Blaser MJ. Acid peptic disease: clinical manifestations, diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 142.


Review Date: 11/11/2010
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and George F. Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, San Diego, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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