Gastritis is a condition primarily characterized by an inflammation of the stomach lining. This happens whenever the protective layer of the stomach is weakened or gets damaged. There is barrier that protects the stomach from acids that digest the food that you eat. When this barrier is weakened, digestive juices will then cause damage to the stomach lining. It is considered as a troublesome condition that leads to different complications if not treated immediately. One of the resulting effects of gastritis is ulcers, and one condition that could aggravate gastritis is constipation, and therefore must be avoided. This includes avoiding all the things that also lead to constipation.
The inflammatory lesions can be classified in two namely, acute erosive gastritis or chronic atrophic gastritis. With the former often caused by regular use of certain drugs or medications, and the latter is often found to mostly occur in patients who are suffering from a severe case of iron deficiency anaemia.
What Causes Gastritis?
- Alcoholism. Excessive alcohol intake could greatly irritate the stomach lining and eventually erode it. The stomach lining then becomes vulnerable to the juices that digest food. Hence, this excessive intake of alcohol could lead to gastritis.
- Use of aspirin, ibuprofen, and other pain relievers. These nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) are also among the causes of gastritis. Using these drugs diminishes a particular substance in the body that helps in preserving the lining in the stomach that protects it from digestive juices. When this substance is reduced, the stomach lining also becomes weakened and vulnerable. You may take these pain relievers occasionally, but not all the time so as to avoid gastritis.
- Stress. It has been shown that stress due to various injuries, surgery, or even burns could lead to acute gastritis.
- Infections caused by bacteria. One bacterium that usually affects the stomach is Helicobacter pylori. In fact, people who are infected with such bacteria tend to suffer from chronic gastritis. 50% of the entire world population is said to be infected with the pylori bacterium, and infection is passed on from person to person. However, not all of those who get infected with the pylori bacterium suffer from complications. Medical experts say that the vulnerability of one person to the bacteria may be brought about by improper lifestyle like habitual smoking.
- Bile reflux. Bile is a fluid coming from the liver that helps the body in digesting fats. This is stored in the gallbladder. When bile is released, it then travels to the small intestine, passing through some thin tubes. The pyloric valve keeps the bile from getting in the stomach, however, whenever the valve is not able to work properly, bile will enter the stomach and could lead to chronic gastritis.
- Autoimmune disorder. This happens when your own immune system attacks the cells in the stomach lining, causing it to weaken. This is considered as a rare condition but is most likely to occur in people who also have other autoimmune disorders like Type 1 diabetes and Hashimoto’s disease.
- Other illnesses. There are certain studies that show that gastritis is also an effect of other diseases like parasitic infection, Crohn’s disease, as well as AIDS/HIV.
Diagnosis, Signs and Symptoms of Gastritis
Gastritis has various symptoms, which include the following:
- Loss of appetite
- Pain and a feeling of discomfort.
Chronic gastritis may have the following symptoms:
- Fullness in the abdomen especially after taking meals
- Loss of weight
- Occasional haemorrhage from the stomach
- Loss of weight
Remedies, Treatment and Cure for Gastritis
- Fasting. One of the most effective ways in treating gastritis is fasting.
- When fasting, the stomach is able to rest and the toxic condition gets to subside. Elimination is also hastened when undergoing a fast. It would usually require two to three days to recover but it is highly different with chronic gastritis.
- Fasting may need to be done for seven days or more. Short fasts could be repeated after an interval of 1 or 2 months.
- While on a fast, fruit juices may be taken.
Foods to Avoid
- Avoid foods like spices, meat, sour foods, chilies, pickles, coffee and strong tea.
- Avoid sweets, rich cakes, and other pastries.
- Avoid mixing various types of food in one single meal
- Eat more cottage cheese and curds. These can be used freely.
- Drink more carrot juice. You can also combine this with spinach since the mixture would be highly beneficial in treating gastritis. The ratio would be 300 ml carrot juice and 200 ml spinach juice.
- Drink at least 8 glasses of water everyday. Remember not to take water with meals because it can dilute the digestive juices and could delay the digestion process.
- Coconut water. This is very helpful to persons who are suffering from gastritis. It also provides adequate amount of vitamins and minerals. If the patient is given only coconut water for the 1st 24 hours, then his or her stomach could very much benefit from it.
- Rice gruel. This is another good remedy for acute gastritis. Since the flow of gastric juices is not that good in persons suffering from chronic gastritis, then this food must be masticated for a long time, as this would induce a greater flow of gastric juices.
More Helpful Remedies
- Avoid nicotine, or to be more precise, avoid smoking,
- Avoid alcohol as well since this was considered as one of the primary causes of gastritis.
- Do not eat in a hurry. Try to eat slowly and as much as possible the ambiance of the dining area must be a relaxing one.
- Make sure that you eat meals at least two hours before bedtime.
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