Autoimmune gastritis



Characterized by the destruction of parietal cells, which are cells in the stomach that make stomach acid and a protein called intrinsic factor that is needed to absorb the essential vitamin B12, autoimmune gastritis causes vitamin B12 deficiency which can lead to subsequent illnesses such as anemia.

Common Symptoms

Gnawing or burning ache or pain (indigestion) in upper abdomen, nausea, vomiting, a feeling of fullness in the upper abdomen after eating, and malabsorption of iron, vitamin B12, or other micronutrients.

Coexisting Diseases and Conditions

Pernicious anemia, gastric polyps, and gastric adenocarcinoma. More common in people with other autoimmune disorders, including Hashimoto’s, type 1 diabetes, Crohn’s disease, sarcoidosis, Addison’s disease, and vitiligo.

Risk Factors and Prevalence

It is believed that the condition may be inherited in autosomal dominant conditions, meaning it can be caused by a DNA mutation. A bacterial infection such as Helicobacter pylori, or regular use of painkillers such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), and naproxen, excessive drinking of alcohol, or trauma caused by e.g., major surgery, injury, burns. Pre-existing diseases such as autoimmune thyroiditis and Type 1 diabetes can also contribute to autoimmune gastritis’s development.


  1. Article Sources
    1. Kulnigg-Dabsch S. (2016). Autoimmune gastritis. Autoimmungastritis. Wiener medizinische Wochenschrift (1946), 166(13-14), 424–430.

    2. Lenti, M.V., Rugge, M., Lahner, E. et al. Autoimmune gastritis. Nat Rev Dis Primers 6, 56 (2020).

    3. Mayo Clinic Staff. (2020, April 3). Gastritis. Mayo Clinic.

    4. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Autoimmune atrophic gastritis. Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center.