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Stress gastritis



Stress gastritis is swelling (inflammation) and weakening of the stomach lining.

Alternative Names

Stress ulcer


Stress gastritis may occur after:

  • Burns
  • Severe illness
  • Shock
  • Trauma

The risk of stress gastritis and ulcers is highest in patients who are using a breathing machine in an intensive care unit.


Signs and tests

If the stress gastritis is severe, it may cause ulcers and bleeding.

Unlike the typical peptic ulcer, stress ulcers may first be recognized by gastrointestinal bleeding that causes you to vomit blood or pass dark blood in the stool.

Support Groups

Expectations (prognosis)

Calling your health care provider



Your doctor can best decide whether you need medicines to treat stress gastritis.


Patients usually get medicines to avoid stress gastritis if they are receiving mechanical ventilation in an intensive care unit, or if they have bleeding disorders.


Malagelada JR, Kuipers EJ, Blaser MJ. Acid peptic disease: clinical manifestations, diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007: chap 142.

Review Date: 10/13/2008
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and George F. Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, San Diego, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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