Gastritis is an inflammation , irritation, or erosion of the lining of the stomach It can occur suddenly (acute) or gradually (chronic). A little bit of anatomy may help explain the difference between gastritis and GERD. Where the esophagus meets the stomach there’s a sphincter (known as the lower esophageal or cardiac sphincter). This sphincter allows food into the stomach and helps to keep food from backwashing up into the esophagus. Some reflux is normal. When the acid irritates the lining of the esophagus the result is GERD. The symptoms of this are the classic heartburn symptoms as well as the less well known symptoms of chronic cough, voice changes, etc.
GERD is caused by frequent acid reflux or the backup of stomach acid or bile into the esophagus. The constant backwash of acid can irritate the lining of the esophagus, causing it to become inflamed. Obesity, hiatal hernias, pregnancy, smoking, asthma, diabetes, delayed stomach emptying and connective tissue disorders can all contribute to GERD. Gastritis occurs when the stomach’s protective layer becomes weakened or damaged by stomach acids. A number of conditions can contribute to gastritis, including bacterial infection, regular usage of pain relievers, excessive alcohol consumption, stress, bile reflux disease or other diseases.
Acid reflux is when stomach acid or bile flows back up into the esophagus, which can irritate the esophageal lining. Signs and symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, include both acid reflux and heartburn and may also include chest pain and difficulty swallowing. Gastritis involves a group of conditions that cause inflammation of the stomach lining. Symptoms of gastritis are similar to the symptoms of GERD in which there is a burning pain or indigestion. Additional signs and symptoms of gastritis may also include nausea, vomiting, belching and loss of appetite.
Typically acid reflux or GERD is suspected with heartburn. To confirm a diagnosis, medications can be prescribed, and if they are effective in treating the heartburn a diagnosis of GERD is considered confirmed. An endoscopy is also a common way of diagnosing both GERD and gastritis. Other tests visit website such as biopsies of the esophagus, x-ray, examining the throat and larynx and esophageal acid testing and motility studies can also be completed if GERD is suspected. Gastritis can also be diagnosed with a biopsy, upper GI series, blood or stool tests, or testing for the infection, H. pylori.