What other diseases can resemble gastritis?


Gastritis in layman terms means the inflammation of the stomach wall due to multiple risk factors. There are generally 2 types of gastritis namely, acute and chronic gastritis which can manifest in two different ways. The most common risk factors leading to gastritis are taking spicy food frequently, taking non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs as analgesics for knee pain and such, taking steroids, binge alcohol consumption, and improper schedule in meals.

The symptoms of gastritis include having a central or left sided abdominal pain, vomiting, loss of appetite, indigestion and sometimes presence of blood in the vomitus. More often abdominal pain can also be manifested in other diseases which will require urgent referral and treatment because some of them are life threatening. It is really important to get your health checkups regulargy. In this article, we will discuss further on other types of diseases which resemble symptoms of gastritis.

  1. Heart attack

This disease will definitely be on the top of the list as it is life threatening and also curable if it is brought to attention quickly. Heart attack or also known as myocardial infarction results from the blockage of blood vessels supplying oxygen to the heart leading to cardiac muscle necrosis and dysfunction. Common risk factors include having multiple medical comorbidities such as hypertension, diabetes and high cholesterol levels in the blood. Smoking and obesity are also well recognized risk factors.

The abdominal pain from heart attack is usually central in origin and the pain often radiates to the left arm, jaw and neck. It is also commonly associated with nausea and profuse sweating and not associated with meal intakes as such in gastritis.

1. Acute pancreatitis

Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas gland which is a retroperitoneal organ. Thus, pancreatitis is usually manifested as abdominal pain radiating to the back and relieved by slightly leaning forward. Common risk factors of acute pancreatitis are having gallstones, alcohol consumption, mumps, malignancy and can be even idiopathic.

It is very vital to recognize and diagnose pancreatitis in early phase as it can lead to hazardous complications like respiratory distress and sepsis.

2. Acute cholecystitis

Inflammation of the gallbladder also can cause similar abdominal pain but more on the right side of the abdomen. It is commonly caused by gallstones in the gallbladder but  also  due to other causes like prolonged starving and total parenteral nutrition. Acute cholecystitis will be associated with yellowish discoloration of eyes and skin with fever. These are the results from the inflammation of the gallbladder wall.

3. Food poisoning or gastroenteritis

This is quite common in people who prefer to eat outside most of the time. The responsible organisms or toxins are able to inflame your gut wall leading to symptoms similar to acute gastritis. It is commonly associated with crampy abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. Food poisoning or acute gastroenteritis are usually diagnosed clinically and given symptomatic treatment unless your doctors suspect a bacterial origin which then you will be required to be on antibiotics.

4. Peptic ulcer disease

Peptic ulcer can be either gastric ulcer or duodenal ulcer and can be resulted as a complication of recurrent or untreated gastritis leading to formation of an ulcer. The risk factors are similar to gastritis which are mainly NSAIDS consumption, steroids and can be also due to Helicobacter pylori infection in certain endemic areas.

Abdominal pain from peptic ulcer disease is usually dull aching and associated with meals. Gastric ulcers are usually aggravated right after meals while duodenal ulcer manifests as pain after about 2 hours of meal. An endoscopic procedure will be required to make a diagnosis of peptic ulcer disease and to put you on proton pump inhibitors medications.