Gastritis is an inflammation or irritation of the protective inner lining of your stomach. If you left it untreated, it could increase the risk of developing stomach ulcers and cancer. There are two types of gastritis. One is acute gastritis which may cure after a few days without medications and The other one is chronic gastritis which may occur inflammation that can last for years or more if it is not treated properly.
In this article, we are going to discuss the Gastritis symptoms, causes, treatments, Best foods that you can consume and foods to avoid in order to control gastritis.
There is a number of gastritis symptoms that may vary from person to person. There are many people with gastritis that do not experience any symptoms at all. However, the most common symptom is that some people with gastritis often experience pain in the stomach. This pain is most often coming from the upper part of the abdomen and it may spread to your back.
Other common symptoms that you should seek urgent medical treatments including,
- Nausea and vomiting ( The vomit may be clear, yellow, green or may contain some blood )
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling full in the upper part of the stomach, after meals
- Stomachache with fever
- Chest pain
- Abdominal bloating
- You may feel burning in the abdomen between meals or at night
- Loss of appetite
- Bloody, black or tarry or foul-smelling bowel movements, when pooing.
- Excessive sweating
Why Gastritis Occurs?
Gastritis can be caused by damaging and inflammation of the protective mucus lining of the stomach. The main reason for damaging the lining of the stomach is due to an infection of a bacteria called “Helicobactor Pylori” that exists in your stomach. This bacterium is thought to be present in the abdomens of 50% of the global population and it may pass from person to person. It can transfer through polluted food or water as well.
You may increase your risk of developing gastritis, due to some conditions and lifestyles, including,
- Too much alcohol consumption
- Cocaine use
- Regular use of NSAIDs drugs such as aspirin, diclofenac, celecoxib, etc.
- Mental stress
- Being an older age
- Vitamin B12 deficiency
- Food allergies
- Viral and fungal infections
Complications from Gastritis
If you do not treat gastritis properly, it may lead to developing bleeding and ulcers in the stomach. Sometimes it can increase your risk of occurring stomach cancer too. This risk is high in people with a thin lining of the abdomen.
Therefore, it is very important to consult your family doctor, are you experience symptoms especially in chronic conditions.
How is Gastritis Examined?
Your family doctor may ask you about your symptoms and about your family history to diagnose if you have the disease or not.
Your doctor may also ask for a range of tests, including,
- Urine tests
- Pregnancy tests
- Stool evaluation test
- Blood tests
- Kidney and liver function tests
- Anaemia tests
If the doctor cannot conclude from the above tests, he will then perform a test most probably the test called “endoscopy” to check the abdominal inflammation. During the test, your doctor will insert a thin, flexible tube that has a camera lens at the point, from your mouth to see the lining of your stomach to find anything abnormal.
What are the Treatments for Gastritis?
The treatments for gastritis may vary from person to person, as the cause may be different. Suppose if someone has gastritis, due to persistent usage of NSAIDs drugs, preventing these drugs may be enough to get rid of symptoms. Routine intake of antibiotics which can destroy the bacteria called Helicobactor Pylori may be the best treatment for those with gastritis, due to that bacteria.
In addition to the above treatments, several other medications are available, including,
- Proton pump inhibitors – this blocks the acid flows into the stomach. However long-term usage of this treatment may lead to an increased risk of spine, wrist and hip fractures.
- Acid reducing treatments – this can lower the acid flow into the digestive process.
- Antacids – these medications can dilute the acid in the stomach
- Probiotics – this may help to heal your ulcers in the stomach.
How to Prevent Gastritis?
You may follow these steps to reduce the risk of developing gastritis,
- Wash your hands properly and eat foods that cooked well. This may reduce engagement with H. pylori.
- Avoid using NSAIDs
- Prevent from smoking and alcohol
- Lower the caffeine consumption
- Reduce the stress
Best Foods to Lower The Risk of Gastritis
Your diet is very important for gastritis, as it is a disease in the stomach. What you put into your abdomen may make a difference to the disease.
There are some foods that can help to lower the risk of gastritis symptoms. These include,
- Fruits that are high in fibre such as avocado, pears, strawberries, raspberries, apples.
- Vegetables and other foods that are high in fibre including carrots, beets, broccoli, oats, almonds, dark chocolate.
- Low-fat foods including fish, chicken
- Probiotics such as yoghurt, kefir, tempeh, kimchi, pickles.
- Drinks that are not carbonated and without caffeine.
- Low acid foods such as soy, tofu, tempeh, fresh vegetables and fruits, beans, lentils
What Foods You Should Avoid Eating
Foods that are high in fat and acid can make your stomach worsen. Below are some other foods to avoid,
- Acid foods such as tomato
- Fatty foods
- Spicy foods
- Carbonated drinks
- Fried foods
Gastritis conditions can be controlled with proper treatments if identified properly. The best thing is that if you notice any symptoms of gastritis, consult your doctor immediately so that he can give you the best treatment plan for you to get rid of the disease.
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