How do I know if I have Ulcers or Gastritis?

How do I know if I have Ulcers or Gastritis?

How do I know if I have Ulcers or Gastritis?. If Gastritis is left untreated, then it may develop into an Ulcer.

Ulcer and Gastritis, both affect the digestive tract. They have many symptoms in common, such as abdominal pain, but they differ widely from each other on the basis of their treatment and severity of pain.

What is an Ulcer 

Ulcers are usually caused by the following:

  • The bacteria known as H. Pylori is the main cause of Ulcers.
  • Daily usage of anti-inflammatory pain relievers, including aspirin.

What is Gastritis?

Gastritis can be defined as a group of conditions that inflame or affect the lining of the stomach. It can be caused by regular use of pain pills (NSAIDs, aspirin, or other anti-inflammatory drugs), chronic vomiting, infections, injuries, excessive use of alcohol, or stress.

What are their symptoms?

The common symptoms of Ulcers and gastritis as follows:

  • Loss of appetite or easily feeling full
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Slight pain in the stomach
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Continuous burping (acid reflux)
  • Burning sensation in the chest, also known as heartburn
  • Bloating in the stomach area
  • Anemia
  • Vomiting blood or ground coffee-colored material
  • Pain in the upper stomach
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Vomiting blood or dark brown (coffee color) material
  • Indigestion
  • Loss of appetite
  • Burning feeling in the stomach
  • Hiccups

Ulcers can cause severe pain, and it can sometimes lead to excessive bleeding or stomach cancer.


Both conditions are treatable if the right medications and antibiotics are provided at the right time.

Your doctor would recommend you one of the following treatments:

  • Antibiotics
  • Drugs, including PPIs (Proton Pump Inhibitors)
  • Canceling out the usage of NSAIDs
  • Endoscopy

A few times, the medications could result in painful conditions such as nausea, dizziness, slight or severe headaches, diarrhea, mild abdominal pain.

If it is because of the use of some anti inflammatory drugs, then it could be treated by stopping the use of those drugs. The other times your doctor would recommend you antibiotics that would kill the H. Pylori bacteria or some medication that would block the production of the stomach acid. Antacids

  • Omitting hot and spicy food
  • Antibiotics
  • Vitamin B12 dose
  • Eliminating dairy (lactose) and wheat (gluten)

Gastritis lasts for about 2-10 days. If not treated, it may turn into a chronic illness, lasting up to weeks and sometimes a year.

Ulcers eventually heal if left untreated. Most of the time, they reoccur if not treated well, which could eventually lead to a serious complication. Bleeding or formation of holes on the wall of the intestine or stomach are the common complications.


Both conditions require an upper endoscopy for their diagnosis. Your doctor would immediately guess that you have Gastritis after going through your medical history, but you still need to undergo some tests so that the doctor would be confirmed about the actual cause of your condition.

 H. Pylori bacteria test :

Pylori bacteria in your stomach or not.

For the breath test, your doctor would provide you a glass containing a clear, tasteless liquid that actually contains radioactive carbon.

Endoscopy :

In this test, the doctor would pass a flexible tube that has an endoscope (lens) attached to it, down the esophagus into the stomach and to the small intestine (the digestive tract). During this test, the doctor looks for infected areas and takes out a small tissue for performing a biopsy.

With lab examination (biopsy), the presence of H. Pylori bacteria in your stomach can be detected.

X-ray :

The liquid provides a coating to your digestive tract.

which creates images. The doctor looks for abnormalities in the images, down the digestive tract, and thus confirms the issue.

Ulcers can only be confirmed by an X-ray or endoscopy, while Gastritis can also be detected by a stool or breath test.

Difference between Ulcer and  Gastritis

When the bacteria multiply into a large number, then they cause infection in the stomach, which in turn causes Gastritis. People with an A-type personality are more prone to it.

A person suffering from Ulcers would vomit out materials with bright red color while the color of the vomit of the person suffering from Gastritis depends on the severity of the issue.