ZocdocAnswersIs weight loss a normal part of having gastritis?

Question

Is weight loss a normal part of having gastritis?

I was diagnosed with gastritis about three months ago and I have noticed a lot of weight loss. I don't know what else would make me lose weight so fast. Can gastritis cause sudden weight loss?

Answer

Gastritis means inflammation of the stomach; it can be caused by a variety of conditions, such as medications (classically, anti-inflammatory medications such as Ibuprofen), infections (such as Helicobacter pylori), and autoimmune disease (like pernicious anemia). Gastritis can be a painful condition that can be exacerbated by the ingestion of food. Many patients with gastritis lose weight as a result of the avoidance of food for the sake of escaping the pain associated with it. Typically, food that is ingested in someone with gastritis is still digested appropriately and absorbed into the intestines, so malabsorption is not a common mechanism of weight loss in these cases. One exception to this is in pernicious anemia, in which vitamin B12 is not absorbed properly, which can lead to anemia and fatigue. On a more serious note, unexplained weight loss is always a worrisome symptom, and an underlying cancer is something that always needs to be ruled out. If you have had an upper endoscopy performed as part of the evaluation of your gastritis, then the stomach lining has been visualized and presumably no sign of malignancy was detected. However, if you have not had this procedure done, then it is something to consider in the appropriate clinical setting. It is advised that you speak to your primary care doctor about your weight loss so that further work-up can be done as indicated.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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