What is atrophic gastritis?

Atrophic gastritis is the breakdown of the stomach lining (mucosa) and glands that produce pepsin and stomach acids needed to digest food. Chronic gastritis (inflammation or swelling of the stomach lining) often progresses to atrophic gastritis.

Atrophic gastritis is often caused by infection with Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), a type of bacteria that is also known to cause peptic ulcers and stomach cancer. It can also be caused by an autoimmune problem, when the immune system malfunctions. Some people with atrophic gastritis go on to develop pernicious anemia (too few healthy red blood cells), because the intestines cannot absorb vitamin B12 from foods. People with atrophic gastritis are also at risk for developing stomach cancer. Pain in the upper abdomen, nausea and vomiting can be symptoms of atrophic gastritis.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.