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What are the Signs of Gastritis in Children?

Nicole Madison
Updated May 17, 2024
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The signs of gastritis in children include discomfort and pain, nausea, vomiting, and belching. A child with gastritis may also appear pale and bloated. Some children with this condition also sweat a good deal, have reddish or blackish stools, or exhibit irritability. Poor weight gain and heartburn may develop as signs of the condition as well.

Gastritis is a condition marked by inflammation and irritation of the lining of the stomach. This condition may develop suddenly, such as in the case of acute gastritis, or gradually, as in the chronic form of the disease. Gastritis is more likely to occur in older adults but can affect people of all ages, including children. Unfortunately, it can lead to the development of ulcers over time; it is even possible for stomach cancer to develop in relation to the disease. Most children, however, can be successfully treated.

There are a range of symptoms that may indicate gastritis in children. For example, a child with the condition may develop nausea, vomiting, appetite loss, and unexplained weight loss. Often, children will also feel full even though they haven’t eaten very much, become bloated, or belch frequently when they have gastritis.

The symptoms a child will face when he has gastritis may depend on the form of the condition he has. For example, if a child has acute gastritis, he may feel nauseous and have pain in the upper region of his abdomen. In some children, the sensation may be described as general discomfort while others may experience burning pain in this stomach. A child with chronic gastritis, on the other hand, may be more likely to experience a sensation of fullness, loss of appetite, and a dull pain or discomfort in the abdomen. Some children, however, do not experience obvious symptoms at all.

Unfortunately, complications may sometimes develop. A child may develop ulcers in his stomach, for example, which may bleed. Additionally, chronic gastritis may translate into an increased risk of stomach cancer. When stomach bleeding occurs because of gastritis, a child may also vomit blood or have bowel movements that appear red or black in color.

The signs of gastritis in children often mimic those of other illnesses. If a child experiences gastrointestinal symptoms for longer than a week, his parent should have him evaluated by a medical professional. Symptoms such as vomiting blood and blood in stools, however, may require swift medical attention in case they are indications of a more serious problem.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Nicole Madison
By Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a WiseGeek writer, where she focuses on topics like homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. Her passion for knowledge is evident in the well-researched and informative articles she authors. As a mother of four, Nicole balances work with quality family time activities such as reading, camping, and beach trips.
Discussion Comments
By ZipLine — On Aug 06, 2012

@literally45-- I'm glad your son is doing better! It sounds a lot like what my son went through too.

The symptoms of gastritis in adults and children is pretty much the same. I've suffered from gastritis in the past because of a helicobacter pylori infection and I saw the same symptoms I used to have with my son.

He used to get acid reflux, would get so bloated and indigestion symptoms. He didn't lose his appetite, he was eating well but was feeling really uncomfortable after meals. He would vomit too, but not a lot. It was really similar to how babies vomit after having milk.

By literally45 — On Aug 05, 2012

@turkay1-- My son had many more symptoms when he had gastritis. But it's definitely possible to have one or two symptoms and even none at all like the article said. The symptoms are also confusing. It took us a while to get the gastritis diagnosis for my son. We had to rule out everything from stomach flu to food allergies and gluten intolerance. Hopefully your daughter's pediatrician will be able to rule out the cause quickly.

I remember the first signs my son showed of gastritis was nausea and stomach pains when he had something acidic. He started hating orange juice and chocolate because it made him feel like throwing up. And then vomiting and stomach cramps started showing up. He was even hospitalized once because he vomited blood.

He has been treated for gastritis and stomach ulcers. Thankfully, he's doing much better. We have him on a special bland diet and he takes his acid inhibiting medication regularly.

By candyquilt — On Aug 04, 2012

I think my daughter might have gastritis. She doesn't have many symptoms aside from not eating. She has completely lost her appetite for the past two days. First, I thought she was being picky with her food. But she tells me she doesn't feel like eating and that she's full, even though she's barely had any food at all.

She hasn't mentioned stomach pains, nausea or anything like that though. I have an appointment with her doctor tomorrow. But just wondering, has anyone had a child diagnosed with gastritis when the only symptom was lack of appetite?

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a WiseGeek writer, where she focuses on topics like...
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