Gastritis disease, Causes, Symptoms, Types, Treatment, Home Remedies, Possible Health Complications and Frequently Asked Questions
What is Gastritis?
Gastritis is a common and annoying physical problem including symptoms like stomach ache, bloating etc.
The stomach wall protects it from acids and germs. If this protective cover is irritated or damaged, it can swell. Chronic inflammation can further damage the stomach wall and cause gastric ulcers.
Gastritis and its Health Effects
Inflammation of stomach lining is called gastritis. It is usually caused by regular use of certain bacteria or anti-inflammatory pain relief medications.
Further this article discusses the problem of Gastritis and its health effects and other related things.
Health Affecting Causes of Gastritis
The commonly seen causes of gastritis are – helicobacter pylori bacterial infection and consumption of NSAIDs painkillers.
- Helicobacter Pylori Bacteria
Helicobacter Pylori Bacteria interfere with the balance of the acid production of the stomach resulting in increased amount of acid production which can damage the stomach wall. Gastritis from this bacterial infection is rare. These bacteria can spread through shared food or drinking water, saliva, vomit, stool etc. It is assumed that the vast majority of the people get infected during their childhood, in close contact with the family members.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
This group of drugs includes acetylsalicylic acid (drugs like aspirin), diclofenac, ibuprofen and naproxen. Side effects are rare when these painkillers are taken only for a short period of time to treat severe pain. But if they are used for a long time (such as several weeks or months) they can affect the protective layer of the stomach as it stops the production of prostaglandin hormones. One of the tasks done by prostaglandin is to control the production of gastric mucus and substances that neutralize stomach acid. If there is not enough prostaglandin, there is not enough protection against stomach acid for the walls.
Combining painkillers with steroids can greatly worsen this harmful effect.
- Other Causes
Smoking, chronic stress and certain types of foods (such as fatty, sugary or spicy dishes) can cause stomach problems. Excessive alcohol can also lead to severe gastritis.
Another, less common cause of gastritis is a condition called Bile Reflux. This is where the bile flows upward from the small intestine into the stomach, where it can damage the stomach walls.
Types of Gastritis
Two types of gastritis are observed – Acute and Chronic.
- Acute Gastritis: Acute gastritis usually accompanies very noticeable stomach and bowel problems which usually go away on their own after a few days.
- Chronic Gastritis: On the other hand, chronic gastritis may not be noticeable. It does not have visible symptoms in its prime. Sometimes it cannot be detected until the stomach ulcer develops, which can lead to clear serious symptoms.
Symptoms of Gastritis
The symptoms of Acute gastritis includes the following–
- Abdominal pain
- Feeling full
- Nausea and sometimes vomiting
- Lack of appetite
- Bloating stomach etc.
Some of these symptoms of gastritis can also indicate other health conditions or diseases, such as gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD), irritable stomach or bowel, and diarrhea (Gastroenteritis).
People with chronic gastritis often have only mild symptoms, or are not visible at all. But they may also have symptoms like acute gastritis.
Complications of Gastritis
If the stomach or intestinal layers do not provide adequate protection, their walls may swell or get damaged. This can lead to ulcers in the stomach or duodenum. Duodenum is the first part of the small intestine, located just after the stomach. Gastric ulcers and duodenal ulcers can lead to serious complications such as bleeding.
In some rare cases, you may become anemic if the gastritis becomes chronic and the stomach lining is always swollen. This can lead to cancerous tumors.
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Treatment of Gastritis
Gastritis and its health affecting symptoms are usually treated with acid reduction medication. Depending on the type and severity of the symptoms, the following drugs can be used –
- Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) such as Omeprazole or Pantoprazole which reduces the production of stomach acid.
- H2 blockers like Ranitidine and Famotidine also reduce acid production.
- Antacids like Aluminum Hydroxide or Magnesium Hydroxide neutralize the acid already present in your stomach.
If gastritis is caused by a helicobacter infection then PPIs are combined with two or three antibiotics and given to the patient.
If you notice that some foods, stress, alcohol or nicotine make stomach problems worse, you may try to change your diet, avoid alcohol, quit smoking or make some way to reduce stress in your daily life.
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Home Remedies for Gastritis
- Eat anti-inflammatory Food
Gastritis is an inflammation of the stomach lining, so eating a diet that helps reduce inflammation can relieve this problem over time. Inflammatory insinuating and very commonly eaten processed foods are –
- Acidic food
- Dairy Products
- Sugary foods
- Spicy food
- Alcohol etc.
- Eat Garlic
Garlic has anti-inflammatory properties due to which this spice can help in gastritis disease. You can take garlic supplements if you don’t like the taste of raw garlic.
- Give a try to Probiotics
Probiotics can help improve digestion and encourage regular bowel movements. Probiotic supplement promotes good bacteria in the digestive tract, which can help stop the spread of H.Pylori bacteria. Natural probiotics include yogurt, various fermented foods, etc. Probiotic supplements are also available.
- Consume Tea
Drinking green or black tea at least once a week can significantly reduce the circulation of H.pylori in the digestive tract. Drinking only lukewarm water on an empty stomach can also help in reducing this bacteria.
Also Read: Basil Tea Benefits: 11 Curing Properties
- Eat small
Eating too much carbohydrate-rich diet can strain a person’s digestive system and develop gastritis. Eating small meals regularly during the day can help ease the digestive process and reduce gastritis symptoms.
- Quit smoking
Smoking can damage a person’s stomach walls and also increase the risk of the person developing stomach cancer.
- Reduce the consumption of Painkillers
Taking pain killers (such as ibuprofen) for long term can damage the stomach lining and worsen gastritis situations.
- Keep Stress Away
Stress can cause gastritis to float more, so this condition can be kept under control by reducing stress levels. You can take help from yoga, meditation, massage, etc.
- Drink Enough Water
Water also improves the condition of the stomach while maintaining a healthy whole body. So drinking enough water can also help improve the gastric situation.
Also Read: 9 Health Effects of Milk Consumption
The above article lets you know about the commonly faced health problem- Gastritis or gastric, along with other related and important information.
These data are derived from trusted sources and provided only for knowledge purposes and not meant for replacing any medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Please consult your doctor if the above home remedies don’t work for you.
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1) What is the difference between gastritis and gastroenteritis?
A- Gastroenteritis is characterized by stomach as well as intestinal irritation and inflammation. This condition is usually caused by viral or bacterial infections. Gastritis, on the other hand, only involves inflammation, irritation or erosion of the protective stomach layer.
2) Can eggs be consumed if suffering from gastritis?
A- Yes, you can. Food items such as eggs, lean meat, chicken (chicken and turkey), fish, beans and nuts are known to be rich in protein. Therefore, these food items help in repairing the damaged stomach walls.
3) How long does gastritis last?
A– How long gastritis lasts depends on the source that causes inflammation. It can last for a few hours to several weeks depending on the cause and severity of damage to the stomach lining.
4) Is it harmful to drink milk in gastritis?
A- Yes, it is advisable to avoid milking if you are experiencing any symptoms of gastritis. Milk can provide temporary relief, but in the long run it can increase the production of stomach acid, which can worsen the symptoms.
5) Are dietary changes sufficient to cure gastritis?
A- No, dietary changes are not enough to treat chronic gastritis. Following a healthy diet can relieve symptoms but for proper treatment, it is necessary to consult a doctor to treat the underlying cause.