Gastritis - Diagnosis & Treatment

How is gastritis diagnosed?

After asking about your symptoms and medical history, your doctor may recommend the following diagnostic tests:

Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) breath test

To test if you have H. pylori bacterial infection, you will take a capsule or liquid with urea. Urea is a radioactive material that is safe to ingest.

You will then breathe into a balloon-like bag. If there is an increase in carbon dioxide levels, this means that you have an H. pylori infection.

Upper endoscopy

In this procedure, a long thin tube with a camera called an endoscope will be inserted into your throat, down your oesophagus and stomach. Endoscopy allows your doctor to:

  • View and examine your stomach lining
  • Gather some stomach tissue samples to test for infection

Blood test

Blood tests may be required to check your red blood cell count. In some cases, gastritis causes gastrointestinal bleeding that may lead to anaemia. Blood tests can also help screen for a H. pylori infection.

Stool test

Your doctor may also require a stool test. Blood in the stools can be a sign of gastritis.

Upper gastrointestinal tests

Upper gastrointestinal (GI) exams are useful in checking your oesophagus, stomach, and part of the small intestine. Types of upper GI tests include:

  • Oesophagography or X-ray of the oesophagus
  • X-ray examination of the stomach
  • X-ray examination of the small intestine

How is gastritis treated?

Depending on the cause of your gastritis, your doctor will suggest the most suitable treatment. Treatment options can include:

Acid control medication

You may be given acid control medications to neutralise acid levels in the stomach. Examples of these medications include antacids, histamine (H2) blockers, and proton pump inhibitors.


If your gastritis is caused by the H. Pylori bacteria, you will be given antibiotics.

Pain relief

To manage your gastritis symptoms, you may be given pain medications, such as those containing acetaminophen.

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