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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, incidence, and risk factors

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.

Signs 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.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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