Gastritis means there is inflammation in the lining of the stomach. Gastritis can be chronic (lasting a long period) or acute (lasting a short time). It is not the same thing as peptic ulcer disease which results when the stomach lining has broken down.
There are many causes of gastritis. The most common include Helicobacter pylori infection (a bacteria) in the stomach, the use of certain medications (including aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and some autoimmune disorders.
An ulcer is an open sore. Peptic ulcer disease refers to ulcers in the lining of the stomach or the small intestine. The lining of the stomach and small intestines can usually protect itself from the strong stomach acids. However, if the lining breaks down, an ulcer may develop most commonly in the stomach (gastric) or small intestine (duodenal). In extreme cases, the ulcer may go all the way through the stomach or duodenum. This is called a perforation.
Some people may not have any symptoms. Symptoms can vary from person to person and may include: