Acid Reflux vs Gastritis: Difference and Comparison

As described by definition, Gastritis is an inflammatory condition of the stomach wall. For years, people wrongly assumed that gastritis and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) are almost the same conditions.

Finally, however, people started learning further about gastritis and how much it differs from reflux.

Key Takeaways

  1. Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid flows back into the esophagus, causing heartburn and discomfort, while gastritis is the inflammation of the stomach lining.
  2. A weak lower esophageal sphincter primarily causes acid reflux, whereas gastritis can result from various factors, such as infection, excessive alcohol consumption, or long-term use of certain medications.
  3. Treatment for acid reflux focuses on lifestyle modifications and medications to reduce acid production. In contrast, gastritis treatment depends on the underlying cause and may include antibiotics, antacids, or acid blockers.

Acid Reflux vs Gastritis 

The difference between Acid Reflux and Gastritis is that the former refers to the irritation that is caused in the esophagus, whereas the latter is concerned with the irritation in the stomach lining. Most of the etiology of GERD remains the same as that of gastritis, such as protracted use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for pain treatment, cigarettes, as well as alcohol drinking.

Acid Reflux vs Gastritis

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Heartburn, pyrosis, and acid intake are all terms for acid reflux. Burning discomfort in the chest area is a common symptom of this illness.

Whenever stomach acid keeps repeating back into the food pipe, it involves inflammation. Acid reflux is most common after meals.

Regular alcohol consumption, persistent vomiting, tension, and the use of specific medicines like aspirin or even other anti-inflammatory treatments can all induce gastritis. It can happen all at once (acute) or over time (progressive) (chronic).

Gastritis, it remains unaddressed, can cause significant internal bleeding and raise the risk of getting cancer.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonAcid RefluxGastritis
DefinitionThe liquid contents of the belly refluxes through into oesophagus, the tube linking the mouth as well as stomach, in this chronic digestion condition.Infection of the stomach lining caused by a number of disorders. It can occur as a result of alcoholic abuse, illness, or other medical conditions.
Caused ByRecurrent acid reflux is the cause of GERD. When patients swallow, the lower esophageal sphincter softens, allowing food and drink to flow towards the stomach.Because the bacteria clogs inflammation inside the gastrointestinal system, H.pylorii infection is a major source of gastritis and therefore can produce gastrointestinal symptoms.
Related toAcid Reflux is an inflammatory condition related to esophagus.Gastritis is a condition related to the lining of stomach.
TreatmentIn most cases, over-the-counter medications to regulate acid in the stomach are used first. If the pain persists for more than a few weeks, the doctor may recommend further treatments such as drugs or surgery.Medication and dietary changes are part of the treatment plan in Gastritis.
Duration PeriodIn most of the cases, GERD lasts for a few hours (2-8 hours). Whereas, Gastritis is a condition that lasts only a few days (acute gastritis). This could possibly last months or even years (chronic gastritis).

What is Acid Reflux?

Acid reflux, referred to as heartburn, is a frequent problem wherein you experience a searing discomfort in the low chest region. Whenever stomach acid backs up through into a food pipe, something occurs.

The lower esophageal sphincter is a band of musculature that acts as a barrier at the body’s entry.

Acid reflux occurs whenever the LES doesn’t close completely or breaches too frequently after food moves first from the food pipe towards the belly, allowing stomach acids to start flowing up into the food pipe. Acid reflux causes a burning feeling and tightness in the chest, which can extend towards the neck and throat.

Even though acid reflux, as well as GERD, are related, they differ in many respects, including the perception of pain. Doctors begin by inquiring about the health information and the length of time a person has been having acid reflux sensations.

They proceed to a physical examination.


What is Gastritis?

The word “gastritis” refers to a set of illnesses that all have one commonality: irritation of the stomach wall. Infections with about the same bacteria that cause the majority of stomach problems are the most common cause of gastritis.

Gastritis could also be aggravated by the use of some pain medications and excessive alcohol consumption.

Gastritis can manifest itself immediately (acute gastritis) or gradually over the years (chronic gastritis) (chronic gastritis). Gastritis can cause ulcers as well as raise the risk of stomach cancer in certain people.

Gastritis, on the other hand, is not severe and responds to therapy swiftly.

Gastritis is a condition in which the stomach lining becomes inflamed. Digestive fluids can harm and cause inflammation to the stomach lining if the mucus-lined membrane that covers the gastrointestinal wall is damaged or injured. 

Gastritis can develop into intestinal ulcers as well as losing blood if left unchecked. Some types of persistent gastritis, particularly if a person has substantial weakening of the stomach wall and alterations inside the lining’s cells, might raise the risk of getting cancer.


Main Differences Between Acid Reflux and Gastritis

  1. Acid Reflux is this persistent digesting problem. The fluid stomach contents reflux into the esophagus, the tract that connects the mouth and stomach. A variety of illnesses can induce infection of the stomach wall and cause Gastritis. This can be caused by alcohol misuse, disease, or other health issues.
  2. GERD is caused by persistent acid reflux. The lower esophageal sphincter weakens when people swallow, enabling foods and beverages to flow more toward the belly. H.pylorii infection is a primary source of gastritis and also can induce gastrointestinal symptoms since the bacteria creates irritation inside the intestinal mucosa.
  3. Acid Reflux is a disorder that affects the esophagus and causes inflammation. Gastritis is a disorder that affects the stomach lining.
  4. Most of the time, over-the-counter drugs to control stomach acid are utilized first. If the discomfort lasts longer than a few weeks, the doctor may suggest additional treatments such as medications or surgery. In the case of Gastritis, medications and nutritional adjustments are part of the treatment plan.
  5. The majority of the time, GERD only lasts a few hours (2-8 hours). Gastritis, on the other hand, is an illness that normally only lasts a few days (acute gastritis). This could occur for months, if not years (chronic gastritis).
Difference Between Acid Reflux and Gastritis

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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