WHAT IS GASTRITIS?
Gastritis is the inflammation or swelling of the inner lining of the stomach. It can either be acute or chronic in nature. Acute inflammation is sudden and severe while chronic inflammation leads to long term inflammation lasting for years. Acute gastritis is usually erosive and hemorrhagic.
- Thin or damaged stomach lining.
- Age: as stomach lining gets thinner with age
- High amounts of alcohol consumption.
- Regular use of NSAIDS, cocaine or tobacco.
- Severe stress
- If you are suffering from any autoimmune condition.
If gastritis is left untreated, it can lead to formation of ulcer, severe blood loss and may increase the risk of developing stomach cancer.
SYMPTOMS AND CAUSES
Acute gastritis often produce no symptoms but sometimes it may cause:
- Sharp stabbing/burning pain in upper abdomen
- nausea/vomiting or
- Melaena(black tarry stools)
Gastritis is caused by irritation of stomach wall commonly by excessive alcohol consumption, stress, regular use of certain medications, H. pylori infection, stress, bile reflux,
DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT
Gastritis may be diagnosed by:
- Physical examination
- Evaluating medical history of an individual alongwith current symptoms
- Evaluation for H. pylori by testing your blood, breath or stool.
- Endoscopy or biopsy is sometimes advised to exclude peptic ulcers or cancer.
Conventional treatment includes use of antacids and antibiotics. However, long-term use of these medications, especially at high doses, can lead to an increased risk of spine, hip, and wrist fractures. It can also lead to increased risk of developing nutrients deficiency, dementia or kidney failure.
- If you have gastritis caused by NSAIDs or other drugs, avoiding those drugs may be enough.
- People with gastritis should eat high fibre food like apples, beans, carrots and honey.
- Herbal teas are also safe to drink.
- Avoid caffeinated beverages, dairy produce and spicy foods.
- Food that have high fat content may worsen the inflammation of stomach.
There are many symptomatic as well as constitutional homeopathic medicines available, that can be used for treatment of gastritis whether acute or chronic such as nat phos, nux vomica, ars alb, carbo veg, pulsatilla, antim crud, bryonia, lycopodium etc. All these medicines provide cure from gastritis without any side effects.
DO’S AND DON’TS
Food items to be added in diet: probiotic yogurt, food items rich in fibres and with low fat content, herbal tea, coconut water etc.
- Food to avoid: alcohol, coffee, acidic food, fruit juice, fatty food, carbonated drinks and spicy food items.
- Avoid use of tobacco, alcohol and excessive use of harmful medications.