Gastritis is irritation, inflammation, or erosion of the stomach lining. The condition is caused by various factors, including alcohol, abdominal pain, infection, indigestion, nausea, particular medications, feeling full, and some allergic and immune conditions. Gastritis can be of two types: Acute (that lasts for a day or two) or Chronic (that causes long-term appetite loss or nausea). In many cases, people don't experience any symptoms (asymptomatic).
Types of Gastritis :
1. Acute Gastritis -
This condition can result in abdominal pain and swelling in the stomach but usually does not last for more than two days.
2. Chronic Gastritis -
This condition lasts for a longer duration. People who have chronic gastritis may not realize it due to the symptoms, which may appear dull and not severe, unlike acute gastritis, where the symptoms are painful.
Risk Factors For Gastritis :
- Alcohol consumption
- Particular medications
- Iron and potassium supplements
- High levels of stress
- Thinning of the stomach lining
- Chemotherapy drugs
- Bacterial infection (e.g., Helicobacter pylori)
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
Symptoms of Gastritis :
The signs and symptoms of gastritis are given as follows:
- Burning sensation or pain in the upper abdomen that may get better or worse with eating.
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal bloating
- A feeling of fullness after eating
- Black, tarry stools
- Gastritis doesn't always show symptoms (asymptomatic)
Causes Of Gastritis :
One of the primary causes of both acute and chronic gastritis is the inflammation of the stomach mucosa due to the Helicobacter pylori (H. Pylori) bacteria. Initially, the bacterium infects the stomach antrum and spreads to all of the stomach's mucosa. It may even remain there for years. Another fundamental cause is the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Nevertheless, there are various other reasons for the occurrence of chronic gastritis, including:
- Particular drugs (e.g., cocaine)
- Allergic reactions
- Bile reflux
- Bacterial, viral, and parasitic infections
- Fungal infections
- Stress reaction
- Food poisoning
In general, the significant causes of gastritis include the intake of NSAIDs and infectious agents, especially H. Pylori.
How To Diagnosis :
Even though your doctor is likely to identify gastritis after checking your medical history and performing a physical examination, you may also have to go through some of the following tests to deduce the exact cause.
1. Endoscopy (examination of the upper abdomen using a scope) -
During endoscopy, your doctor may insert a tube attached with a lens (endoscope) into your throat, stomach, and small intestine. This helps the doctor to look for signs of inflammation. If he suspects of any inflamed area, he may get small tissue samples for further examination. This procedure refers to as biopsy, and it can also identify the presence of H. pylori in the lining of your stomach.
2. H. Pylori Tests -
Your doctor may ask you to undergo specific tests to determine the presence of the bacterium H. pylori. The type of test that you undergo may depend on the severity of your condition. H. pylori may be detected by a breath test or in a stool or blood test.
Your doctor may ask you to drink a small glass of clear, tasteless liquid containing radioactive carbon for the breath test. The bacterium breaks down this liquid when it reaches your stomach. You will then be asked to blow into a bag, which is sealed once you are done. If you have H. pylori present in your stomach lining, your breath sample will contain the radioactive carbon.
3. X-ray of the Upper Digestive System -
This test often referred to as a barium swallow or upper gastrointestinal series, capture images of your esophagus, stomach lining, and small intestine to look for inflammations. To identify the ulcer more quickly, you will be asked to swallow a white, metallic liquid containing barium that coats your digestive tract.
Treatments For Gastritis :
The treatment of gastritis may depend on the reason behind it. Acute gastritis caused by the intake of alcohol or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may be relieved by reducing those substances' usage. Some of the medications used to treat gastritis are given as follows:
1. Medications That Reduce Acid Production -
Acid blockers or histamine (H-2) blockers reduce acid production in your stomach, which helps relieve gastritis inflammation and pain and promotes healing. H2 blockers can be available by prescription or over-the-counter (e.g., Pepcid, Axid AR, and Tagamet HB).
2. Antibiotic Medications To Kill H. Pylori -
In order to get rid of the H. pylori bacteria in your digestive tract, your doctor may ask you to start a batch of antibiotics, including amoxicillin (e.g., Amoxil, Augmentin, others), clarithromycin (e.g., Biaxin), and metronidazole (e.g., Flagyl). Make sure that you follow the course of the antibiotics, usually lasting for seven to 14 days.
3. Antacids That Helps Neutralize The Stomach Acids -
Your doctor may include an antacid along with the other medications. Antacids help neutralize existing stomach acid and provide relief from pain instantly. Based on the main ingredients, side effects may range from constipation to diarrhea.
4. Medications To Block Acid Production -
Certain medications reduce acid by blocking the activity of the cells that produce acid. These proton pump inhibitors include over-the-counter medications such as dexlansoprazole (e.g., Dexilant), rabeprazole (e.g., Aciphex), pantoprazole (e.g., Protonix), omeprazole (e.g., Prilosec), and lansoprazole (e.g., Prevacid).
However, long-term usage of these inhibitors may increase your risk of hip, wrist, and spine fractures. To avoid this, your doctor may recommend a calcium supplement.
Gastritis Prevention :
- People should reduce or completely stop the consumption of alcohol. Moderate drinking includes one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men.
- People may also develop gastritis because of viral infections. This means that an individual may protect his/her health by avoiding contact with H. pylori.
- It is also necessary to reduce the intake of acidic food, carbonated beverages, coffee, and juices with citric acid. People should avoid smoking and stop it completely, if possible.
- People should also avoid taking aspirin, naproxen, ibuprofen, and other medications that inflame the stomach's lining.
Diet Plan For Gastritis :
Some foods may provide you relief from gastritis and lessen the symptoms. Diet does not result in gastritis, but eating specific foods can worsen the symptoms. Given below are some of the foods and drinks that can help ease symptoms of gastritis:
- Caffeine-free and non-carbonated beverages
- Foods with a low acid content, such as beans and vegetables
- High-fiber foods, including beans, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
- Foods with low fat, including lean meats, fish, and vegetables
Foods that contain high fat may worsen the infection in the stomach lining. For some individuals, food allergies can aggravate gastritis. In such cases, avoiding these foods may help treat and prevent gastritis. There are the food products that may irritate the stomach, making gastritis worse, including:
- Carbonated drinks
- Fruit juices
- Spicy foods, including spicy peppers
- Fried foods
- Acidic foods
- Fatty foods
In case you feel that a particular food is worsening your symptoms, avoid eating it, especially if you have food allergies.
Some gastritis types may lead to a stomach ulcer, known as peptic ulcers if it's not treated. With an ulcer, you should ensure you are eating foods that are full of nutrients. Sticking to a healthy, balanced diet makes it easier for the ulcer to heal. These are the food products that are allowed on a gastritis diet and stomach ulcers:
- Natural juices
- Milk, yogurt, and low-fat cheese
- Lean meats
- Vegetable oils and olive oil
- Lentils, chickpeas, and soybeans
- Fruits such as melons, bananas, and apple
- Vegetables such as leafy greens, spinach, zucchini, and carrots
Grocare's Ayurvedic Treatment For Gastritis :
The treatment for gastritis made with the goodness of pure and enriched herbs, Xembran® and Acidim® are natural ayurvedic medicines that work in harmony to heal and rejuvenate the stomach lining. Xembran® was explicitly designed to kill H. pylori and other pathogenic bacteria that can result in chronic infections and internal inflammation. Besides, it is an herbal bacteriostatic. Acidim® helps reduce bloating and acidity by maintaining healthy pH levels and lowering acid reflux. An average pH level and healthy gut microflora enables the proper functioning of the organs and promotes healing, thereby curing gastritis permanently and effectively.
Two tablets of Acidim® should be taken twice a day (post breakfast and dinner), and two tablets of Xembran® should be taken twice after dinner, and one should be taken after breakfast. The tablets should be taken for four to six months or as prescribed by the doctor until complete recovery. If taken within the prescribed dosage, Xembran® and Acidim® are not known to cause any side-effects. The medicines can be taken safely by patients with diabetes, hypertension, high blood pressure, and pregnant women.