Can Gastritis Cause Heartburn?

Yes, gastritis can cause heartburn. Gastritis is the inflammation of the stomach lining, and this condition can contribute to heartburn in several ways:

  1. Increased Stomach Acid: Gastritis can cause an increase in stomach acid production, which can lead to acid reflux. This reflux of stomach acid into the esophagus can cause the burning sensation known as heartburn.
  2. Irritation of the Stomach Lining: The inflammation of the stomach lining in gastritis can make the stomach more sensitive to acidic contents, contributing to discomfort and a burning feeling that can be perceived as heartburn.
  3. Weakening of the Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES): Chronic gastritis can sometimes weaken the lower esophageal sphincter, the muscle that acts as a valve between the stomach and the esophagus. If the LES is weakened, stomach acid can more easily flow back into the esophagus, causing heartburn.
  4. Delayed Gastric Emptying: Gastritis can lead to delayed gastric emptying, where food and stomach acid stay in the stomach longer than normal. This can increase the likelihood of acid reflux and heartburn.

Symptoms of Gastritis:

Managing Heartburn Due to Gastritis:

  1. Medications: Antacids, H2 blockers, and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) can reduce stomach acid and provide relief.
  2. Dietary Changes: Avoiding spicy, acidic, or fatty foods that can exacerbate heartburn. Eating smaller, more frequent meals rather than large ones.
  3. Lifestyle Changes: Avoiding smoking, reducing alcohol consumption, and managing stress.
  4. Avoiding NSAIDs: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can worsen gastritis and heartburn, so avoiding them or using alternatives as directed by a healthcare provider is important.

If you experience frequent or severe heartburn or suspect you have gastritis, it’s important to consult a healthcare provider for proper diagnosis and treatment. Chronic gastritis can lead to complications if left untreated, and heartburn can be a symptom of other underlying conditions that may require different management strategies.