Gastritis is characterized by the inflammation and swelling of the stomach lining.  It can be caused by the overuse of alcohol or some medications, including aspirin and some NSAIDs. Stress and some autoimmune disorders can also, but less frequently, trigger the inflammation.

Symptoms are rare but you might notice a loss of appetite, pain in the upper part of the abdomen or nausea and vomiting. Sometimes gastritis can cause bleeding in the stomach lining and you may notice black stool or that you are vomiting blood or a material that looks like coffee grounds. Flare-ups normally last for only a short time but chronic gastritis can continue for months or even years.

It is important to note that any time you see blood in your stool you should make an appointment with your ADH gastroenterologist immediately.