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Difference Between Gastritis and Diarrhea

What is Gastritis and Diarrhea?

Gastritis is a separate condition from diarrhea. Gastritis causes irritation, erosion and inflammation of the mucosa (stomach lining) and may also include vomiting and nausea. While diarrhea is one of the symptoms of gastroenteritis (food poisoning, tummy bug, traveler’s diarrhea, viral enteritis) that affects both the stomach and the intestines. Other symptoms of gastroenteritis other than diarrhea also include nausea or vomiting.


Both are medical conditions of the stomach and are caused due to viral or bacterial infection.


Infection, injury, taking pain pills called NSAIDs, or drinking too much alcohol can cause redness, irritation and inflammation of the stomach lining called gastritis. There are symptoms such as hiccups, belching, upper stomach pain, farting, nausea, indigestion, and vomiting. Sometimes there are no symptoms. Treatment depends on the cause which results in gastritis. Antibiotics and antacids could be helpful.


Diarrhea is caused by loose bowel movements. Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are more common causes of diarrhea, which results in loose, watery stools. It is often caused by viruses or contaminated food. There are symptoms such as frequent, loose, watery stools and stomach pain. Most cases clear up on their own, but some may need antibiotics. Severe cases may require intravenous fluids.

Difference between Gastritis and Diarrhea



Inflammation and redness of the stomach lining


Watery, loose stools, three or more times a day.  



  • Frequent Stomach upset
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Belching
  • Bloating
  • Early Satiety
  • Loss Appetite
  • Feeling Faint
  • Rapid Heartbeat


  • Loose or watery stools for four weeks or longer
  • Sunken eyes
  • Bloating and gas
  • More frequent bowel movements
  • Irritability
  • A sense of urgency to pass stool
  • Decreased urination
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Nausea
  • A burning sensation
  • Fever
  • Dehydration.



  • Regular use of pain relievers
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Treatment of cancer
  • Older age
  • Other medical conditions and diseases
  • Excessive use of alcohol




An acid blocker – also called a histamine (H-2) blocker – relieves gastritis inflammation and pain and helps in preventing the acid release and accumulation in the stomach. OTC medicines include omeprazole, famotidine (Pepcid), rabeprazole, cimetidine (Tagamet HB), lansoprazole and nizatidine (Axid AR).


Over-the-counter medications like Cefixime (Suprax), loperamide or Kaopectate (bismuth subsalicylate) can help alleviate watery bowel movements and relieve some diarrhea symptoms. However, these medications should not be used to treat parasitic or bacterial infections, as they could make them worse. In addition, they must not be given to children without consulting a medical practitioner. Probiotics have also been proposed as an alternative form of treatment for diarrhea, yet studies are required to determine which type of bacteria are most helpful and in what dosage they should be taken. Although it is yet to be established whether probiotic intake can accelerate recovery from diarrhea, research has shown that “good” bacteria in probiotics can raise the number of beneficial microbes in your GI tract and thus create a healthier balance. Probiotics come both as capsules and liquid forms, which are often included in certain types of yogurts.


The points of difference between Gastritis and Diarrhea have been summarized as below:


Is it gastric or just diarrhea?

Gastritis is a medical condition in which there is an irritation, inflammation or erosion of the mucosa (stomach lining). Diarrhea is one of the symptoms of gastritis, which is loose, watery stools caused by viral infections or contaminated food.

What is the difference between gastroenteritis and diarrhea?

Diarrhea is a watery type of stool (category 7 on the Bristol stool chart) and may be accompanied with blood when the infection is bacterial. Gastroenteritis is an intestinal infection in which watery stool which is diarrhea is one of the symptoms. Some other symptoms of gastroenteritis include vomiting, fever, nausea and cramps. 

How is gastritis diagnosed?

Your general practitioner may order tests such as: a breath test to detect Helicobactor pylori (H. pylori), a test on your poo, and a blood test to determine the cause of gastritis symptoms.

Does gastritis make you poop a lot?

Gastritis is characterized by feelings of uneasiness or discomfort, chronic diarrhea. Sometimes there are black or tarry bowel movements, and these may be caused by erosive gastritis.

What are the 4 signs and symptoms of gastroenteritis?

  • Vomiting, nausea or both
  • Low-grade fever
  • Occasion headache and muscle pain
  • Low-grade fever

What are the four types of diarrheas?

The four types of diarrheas include:

Osmotic (lactose tolerance, congenital metabolic disease, drugs or supplements), secretory (vibrio cholerae, viral gastroenteritis), inflammatory or infectious (bacterial dysentery (EHEC, Shigella), chemotherapy, radiation, inflammatory bowel disease) and motility related (Hypermotility, diagnosis of exclusion).

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References :

[0]Farthing, M., Salam, M. A., Lindberg, G., Dite, P., Khalif, I., Salazar-Lindo, E., ... & LeMair, A. (2013). Acute diarrhea in adults and children: a global perspective. Journal of clinical gastroenterology, 47(1), 12-20.

[1]Rugge, M., Pennelli, G., Pilozzi, E., Fassan, M., Ingravallo, G., Russo, V. M., & Di Mario, F. (2011). Gastritis: the histology report. Digestive and Liver Disease, 43, S373-S384.

[2]Schiller, L. R. (2000). Diarrhea. Medical Clinics of North America, 84(5), 1259-1274.

[3]Sipponen, P., & Maaroos, H. I. (2015). Chronic gastritis. Scandinavian journal of gastroenterology, 50(6), 657-667.

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