Gastritis refers to inflammation that occurs on the stomach's lining. It results from the weakening of the protective layer of the stomach. Mucus found on the lining of the stomach is damaged by acids that are used in the digestion processes. This weakening causes gastric acid to damage the stomach lining leading to inflammation. There are also other conditions or diseases that can cause damage on the protective layer of your stomach. This condition has several causes. However, it is common to people who have had traumatic injury, major surgery, severe infections or burns. It may also occur to individuals who may have has a surgical operation done on them to reduce body weight. This results to a reconstruction or banding of their digestive tract. There are also times when this condition is caused by excessive consumption of alcohol. Nevertheless, there is no specific group of people that are targeted by gastritis. It can occur in any person with these predisposing factors.
Causes of Gastritis
Gastritis has many causes. They include:
- Continued or prolonged use of anti-inflammatory or aspirin drugs like ibuprofen. People who take pain relievers are at a greater risk of developing this condition. This is because these dugs have the potential to damage substances that are responsible for protecting the walls of the stomach.
- Old age can also cause this condition. Aged people are at a greater risk of developing this condition. This is because the layer that offers protection to the stomach becomes thin as one age. Thus, elderly persons are at a greater risk of developing gastritis than young people.
- Smoking can also cause damage on the wall stomach leading to inflammation.
- Alcohol can also cause erosion or irritation to the lining of your stomach. This exposes the stomach to damage by the gastric juices. Excessive consumption of alcohol usually results to acute gastritis.
- Stomach infections by bacteria such as the helicobacter pylori. Almost half of the individuals with this condition have their stomachs infected by this bacterium. The bacteria can be passed from one person to another. The bacterium acts by wearing down the protective layer of the stomach.
- It may also occur when the protective layer found on the stomach lining has been eroded
- Viral infections. This is common in people whose immune system is not strong enough to resist infections
- Excessive secretion of gastric acid. This may result from stress
- Autoimmune disorders that may include pernicious anemia. This is a condition where the body attacks cells found in the stomach. Reaction by the immune system results to wearing out of the stomach lining. This condition is common in people with other autoimmune illnesses. It can also result from deficiency of vitamin B12.
- It may also result from bile reflux or back flowing of bile to the stomach
- Drinking or even eating corrosive or caustic substances. These could be poisonous products.
Gastritis can occur suddenly or even develop gradually. Gradual development of this condition can take weeks or months. It is usually categorized into two types depending on how it develops.
- Acute gastritis refers to a condition where the inflammation occurs at a very fast rate. However, this type of gastritis does not last long.
- Chronic gastritis is the type that last long. It develops gradually over a period of weeks or months.
Symptoms of Gastritis
In most cases, gastritis symptoms will not correspond to the level of physical damage or changes on the stomach's lining. Nevertheless, diagnosis of this condition can be done using an endoscope. This is a probe that has a camera that is inserted in the stomach. Thus, severe cases of gastritis infections can be diagnosed before it develop severe symptoms. This is because thin probe is capable of viewing minor changes on the lining of the stomach. However, there are symptoms that can be used to diagnose gastritis. They include the following;
- Pain on the upper abdominal region. It usually occurs on the central upper part.
- In most cases, patients will use words such as aching, burning soreness or gnawing in describing the pain. There is also a vague feeling of discomfort with this pain being sharp, cutting or stabbing sometimes.
- This pain may extend to the back upper part of the left abdomen.
- Vomiting and nausea may also occur in some patients. The vomit can be clear, yellow or green. It may also have blood stains or even completely bloody. The amount of the blood ion the vomit will depend on the level of the infection.
- Belching may also occur. This can relieve the patient the pain they may be having for sometimes. There are also cases where belching does not have any impact.
- Burning or even feeling full even when you have not eaten. The burn is usually felt on the upper region of the stomach.
- There are also cases of severe damage on the stomach lining where patients get internal bleeding. In such cases, symptoms such as sweating, pallor, fast heart beat, short breath and even a faint feeling may be experienced.
- Severe stomach or chest pain
- Large amount of blood in the vomit
It is not possible to determine when any of these symptoms can revel itself. However, the kind of gastritis one has will determine which symptom will be seen and when. There are also cases when a large number of these symptoms occur suddenly. Nevertheless, it is important when you detect any of them you seek medical attention immediately.
Gastritis Home Remedies
Gastritis is a condition that can cause severe discomfort. There are a number of different home remedies and herbal remedies that can be used to treat this condition. They include the following; Remember, you should always consult with your physician in order to get a proper diagnosis and before trying to incorporate these home remedies and herbal remedies yourself! Here are some of the home remedies and herbal remedies that you can try.
- Avoid Dairy Products– Avoid dairy products in the diet until when the condition is completely healed.
- Drink Plenty of Water– Drink adequate amount of water daily. Eight glasses of clean water are preferred.
- Vitamin E– Take at least 400 IU of vitamin E daily. This reduces stomach inflammation.
- Use Licorice– It helps in healing gastrointestinal tract. Chewing 300mg to 600mg about 30 minutes before eating. Licorie is also an effective treatment for ulcers. It works like an effective tagamet.
- Chlorophyll– Chlorophyll supplements can also be used in treating this condition. This is usually a good treatment for those whose condition is as a result of anemia. Two chlorophyll capsules should be taken per day.
- Artichoke– Artichoke is also another remedy especially for patients with abdominal pain. It also relieves nausea and vomiting.
- Goldenseal– Goldenseal has also been used in destroying bacteria responsible for gastritis. This remedy is also used in the treatment of ulcers and inflammation.
- Marshmallow– Marshmallow can also be used as a remedy for relieving indigestion, nausea ulcers and gastritis
- Peppermint– Peppermint is also used in treating this condition. It helps in relieving gastritis, indigestion, stomach ulcers and also ulcers.
- Papaya Seeds– Papaya seeds and also pineapple can be used as remedies for gastritis. These two have high amounts of digestive enzymes. They should be eaten while slightly ripe for maximum benefits.
- Chamomile- Bitter chamomile has always been an effective remedy. This bitter tea serves to cut down the inflammation, providing some much needed relief. This is normally the best solution when the root cause of the gastritis is psychological, that is; stress, worry, or some sort of tension. It works pretty well, and is highly nutritious.
- Fennel– Fennel is a traditional Indian herbal remedy that provides some potent relief for a wide variety of ailments. It is mainly used to assist in digestion, and has the main characteristic of soothing the stomach and providing relief against excess acidity.
- Ginger- Incorporating some Ginger extracts into your diet also helps to keep gastritis in check. What you get is the value of a subsequent reduction in the specific acid dyspepsia that is commonly associated with gastritis.
- Cardamom- The use of Cardamom is also quite effective. This compound has a soothing effect on the stomach, causing a rapid reduction in acidity, and is a well known remedy for heartburn and other acid based ailments.
- Rhubarb- There are some milder agents for treating non severe levels of gastritis in children. The likes of Rhubarb extracts have been known to substantially reduce acidity levels in the stomach. They are not known to be particularly potent, and have no side effects. This makes them a very useful herbal remedy for children.
- Sandalwood- You can also go for sandalwood’s cooling properties. This is evident in the fact that sandalwood serves the main purpose of soothing the stomach muscles that are affected by gastritis, causing a reduction in inflammation; hence, a kind of cooling effect.
- Asparagas– Lastly, you can always go for Asparagas. It is well known for reducing hyperacidity in the stomach, making it a very useful remedy for gastritis
Diet for Gastritis
Proper diet plan can help in dealing with gastritis. This should include the following;
- Eating at a particular time of the day and sticking to it regularly.
- Also reduce the amount of meals you eat per day. Having little amount of meals per day can also help in healing the condition.
- Eat food that is easy to digest
- Eat slowly while at the same time chewing food thoroughly. This facilitates digestion. Also ensure that your meals have high amount of fiber.
- Avoid spices, greasy, salty, junk, hot, fatty, and also sweet food. Also reduce the amount of foods that produce gas in the stomach.
- Avoid foods that have high amount of cholesterol and also unripe fruits.
- Drink freshly prepared fruit juice
- Eat meals that give you Omega-3 fatty acids.
- Reduce the amount of milk or dairy products you take per day.
Prevention of Gastritis
In most cases, gastritis results from bacterial infection. These can be transmitted from one person to another. It can also be through interaction with pets. Therefore, it can be prevented through any of the following measures;
- Frequent hands washing
- Keep your pets such as dogs from roaming around
- Adhere to proper dietary. Eat meals that are easy to digest and also have a regular eating routine.
- Avoid junk foods and other substances that can cause wearing out of the stomach wall lining.
Prevention of gastritis is better than waiting until when this condition has worsened to seek medication. It is also better to seek medication immediately one notices a sign that could indicate development of gastritis.
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