What is Gastritis?
A health article about Gastritis fromYour Health Online the A to Z directory of dealing with Health Problems & nutritional Self Care Strategies
This condition involves an inflammation or irritation of the lining of the stomach, is not considered a single disease. Rather, it is a condition that has numerous causes. Common to all is pain or discomfort in the upper part of the belly (abdomen), sometimes called dyspepsia.
In some cases, gastritis can lead to ulcers and an increased risk of stomach cancer. For most people, however, gastritis isn't serious and improves quickly with treatment.
Signs & Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of gastritis include:
• A gnawing or burning ache or pain (indigestion) in your upper abdomen that may become either worse or better when you eat
• Loss of appetite
• Belching or bloating
• A feeling of fullness in your upper abdomen after eating
• Weight loss
Acute gastritis occurs suddenly and is more likely to cause nausea and burning pain or discomfort in your upper abdomen.
Chronic gastritis develops gradually and is more likely to cause a dull pain and a feeling of fullness or loss of appetite after a few bites of food. For many people, though, chronic gastritis causes no signs or symptoms at all.
What Causes Gastritis?
An estimated 50% of the world population is infected with H pylori, an infection which leads to the greater majority of Gastritis cases, therefore, chronic gastritis is extremely frequent.
H pylori infection is highly prevalent in Asia and in developing countries, and multifocal atrophic gastritis and gastric adenocarcinomas are more prevalent in these areas.
Gastritis can also be caused by irritation from:
• Medications (such as aspirin or anti-inflammatory drugs)
• Chronic vomiting
• Excess gastric acid secretion (such as from stress)
• Eating or drinking caustic or corrosive substances (such as poisons)
• Gastritis can occur suddenly (acute gastritis) or gradually (chronic gastritis).
• Stress gastritis
• Helicobacter pylori gastritis
• Chronic gastritis
• Acute gastritis
Although you can't always prevent H. pylori infection, these suggestions can help reduce your risk of gastritis:
• Eat smart. If you experience frequent indigestion, eat smaller, more frequent meals to help ease the effects of stomach acid. In addition, avoid any foods you find irritating, especially those that are spicy, acidic, fried or fatty. While taking these steps can reduce the signs and symptoms you experience, they can't prevent gastritis.
• Limit or avoid alcohol. Excessive use of alcohol can irritate and erode the mucous lining of your stomach, causing inflammation and bleeding.
• Don't smoke. Smoking interferes with the protective lining of the stomach, making your stomach more susceptible to gastritis as well as ulcers. Smoking also increases stomach acid, delays stomach healing and is a leading risk factor for stomach cancer. Still, stopping isn't easy, especially if you've smoked for years. Talk to your doctor about methods that may help you stop smoking.
• Switch pain relievers. If possible, avoid taking NSAIDs — aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen. These over-the-counter medications can cause stomach inflammation or make existing irritation worse. Instead, switch to pain relievers containing acetaminophen.
• Follow your doctor's recommendations. Your doctor may recommend that you take an over-the-counter antacid or acid blocker to help prevent recurring gastritis.
When to seek Medical Advice:
Occasionally, gastritis may cause stomach bleeding, but it's rarely severe. But be aware that bleeding in your stomach that causes you to vomit blood or pass black, tarry stools requires immediate medical care.
Treatment of gastritis depends on the specific cause. Acute gastritis caused by NSAIDs or alcohol may be relieved by stopping use of those substances. Chronic gastritis caused by H. pylori infection is treated by eradicating the bacteria. Most gastritis treatment plans also incorporate medications that treat stomach acid in order to reduce signs and symptoms you're experiencing and promote healing in your stomach.
Medications to treat stomach acid
Stomach acid irritates inflamed tissue in your stomach, causing pain and further inflammation. That's why, for most types of gastritis, treatment involves taking drugs to reduce or neutralize stomach acid, such as:
• Antacids. Over-the-counter antacids (Maalox, Mylanta, others) in liquid or tablet form are a common treatment for mild gastritis. Antacids neutralize stomach acid and can provide fast pain relief.
• Acid blockers. When antacids don't provide enough relief, your doctor may recommend a medication, such as cimetidine (Tagamet), ranitidine (Zantac), nizatidine (Axid) or famotidine (Pepcid), that helps reduce the amount of acid your stomach produces.
• Medications to shut down acid 'pumps.' Medications called proton pump inhibitors reduce acid by blocking the action of tiny pumps within the acid-secreting cells of your stomach. This class of medications includes omeprazole (Prilosec), lansoprazole (Prevacid), rabeprazole (Aciphex) and esomeprazole (Nexium).
Medications to treat H. pylori
Doctors use several regimens to treat H. Pylori infection. Most use a combination of two antibiotics and a proton pump inhibitor. Sometimes bismuth (Pepto-Bismol) is added to the mix. The antibiotics help destroy the bacteria, and the proton pump inhibitor relieves pain and nausea, heals inflammation and may increase the antibiotics' effectiveness.
To ensure that H. pylori has been eliminated, your doctor may test you again after treatment.
Self Care strategies for Living with Gastritis
(Source Gastritis http://www.healthlibrary.com/reading/ncure/chap50.htm)
The patient should undertake a fast in both acute and chronic cases of gastritis. In acute cases, the patient will usually recover after a short fast of two or three days.
In chronic condition, the fast may have to be continued for a longer period of seven days or so.
In the alternative, short fasts may be repeated at an interval of one or two months, depending on the progress being made.
The fast may be conducted on fruit juices. By fasting, the intake of irritants is at once effectively stopped, the stomach is rested and the toxic condition, causing the inflammation, is allowed to subside.
Elimination is increased by fasting and the excess of toxic matter accumulated in the system is thrown out.
After the acute symptoms subside, the patient should adopt an all-fruit diet for further three days.
Juicy fruits such as apple, pear, grapes, grapefruit, orange, pineapple, peach and melon may be taken during this period at five-hourly intervals. The patient can thereafter gradually embark upon a well-balanced diet of three basic food groups, namely :
(i) seeds, nuts and grains,
(ii) vegetables, and
(iii) fruits on the following lines :
Upon arising : A glass of lukewarm water with freshly squeezed lemon and spoonful of honey.
Breakfast : Fresh fruits , such as apples, orange, banana, grapes, grapefruit or any available berries, a handful of raw nuts and a glass of milk.
Mid-morning snack : One apple, banana, or any other fruit.
Lunch : Steamed vegetables, two or three slices of whole meal bread or whole wheat chappatis, according to the appetite and a glass of butter milk.
Mid-afternoon : A glass of fresh fruit or vegetable juice or sugarcane juice.
Dinner : A large bowl of fresh salad of green vegetables such as tomatoes,carrots, red beets, cabbage, cucumber with dressing of lemon juice and cold-pressed vegetable oil, all available sprouts such as alfalfa seeds mung beans, fresh butter and fresh home-made cottage cheese.
Bed time snacks : A glass of fresh milk or one apple. The patient should avoid the use of alcohol, nicotine, spices, and condiments, flesh foods, chillies, sour things, pickles, strong tea and coffee. He should also avoid sweets, pastries, rich cakes and aerated waters.
Curds and cottage cheese should be used freely.
Carrot juice in combination with the juice of spinach is considered highly beneficial in the treatment of gastritis. 200 ml. of spinach juice should be mixed with 300 ml. of carrot juice in this combination. Too many different foods should not be mixed at the same meal.
Meals should be taken at least two hours before going to bed at night.
Eight to 10 glasses of water should be taken daily but water should not be taken with meals as it dilutes the digestive juices and delays digestion.
And above all, haste should be avoided while eating and meals should be served in a pleasing and relaxed atmosphere.
Coconut water is an excellent food remedy for gastritis. It gives the stomach necessary rest and provides vitamins and minerals. The stomach will be greatly helped in returning to its normal condition if nothing except coconut water is given during the first 24 hours.
Rice gruel is another effective remedy in acute cases of gastritis. In chronic cases where the flow of gastric juice is meager, such foods as require prolonged vigorous mastication will be beneficial as this induces a greater flow of gastric juices.
From the commencement of the treatment , a warm water enema should be used daily, for about a week, to cleanse the bowels. If constipation is habitual, all steps should be taken for its eradication. The patient should be given daily a dry friction and sponge bath. Application of heat, through hot compressor or hot water bottle twice in the day either on an empty stomach or two hours after meals , should also prove beneficial.
The patient should not undertake any hard physical and mental work. He should , however, undertake breathing and other light exercises like walking, swimming, and golf. He should avoid worries and mental tension.
Diet change strategies:
If relevant information is available that specifically says DIET changes or WEIGHT LOSS may be helpful, add it here ….otherwise just delete page prompts
Vitamin & Nutrient Associations
If there is one supplement or alternative health product that will be most likely to help with IBS it is Aloe Vera Juice.
Aloe heals where it touches. If you cut or graze your hand and there is an aloe vera plant near buy you can cut the succulent leaf and rub the internal gel on the wound and the discomfort will reduce quickly and the rate of healing will normally be dramatically faster than without the use of the aloe products.
Internally it is a little more to difficult to apply aloe so you need to use a high quality Aloe Vera Juice.
A quality product will be clear to look at and pleasant smelling. If you find a cloud solution that smells and tastes poorly then you will have an extract of the full juice. This is very good for cleansing the lower bowel and is a much cheaper product but it will not deliver the same cleansing and healing properties as a juice that is extracted from just the heart of the plant.
In addition to the another product that will help to balance the irritable bowel problem is acidophilus.
These two products together will promote healing through the entire digeative tract and will, in many cases, assist in bringing irritable bowel syndrome back under control and aid in preventing “flare ups”.
One note, If you are taking acidophilus in tablet form then the tablet absorbs water from the bowel so if you have diarrohea problems taking one or two tablets with only a small water will help reduce the fluid in the gut.
Taking one or two tables with two large glasses of water for each will dramatically increase the fiber and fluid in your system and help alleviate a constipation problem,
Once you have a basic cleansing and healing process happening then you should look at adding in some nutrition products to heal your whole system.
If you are using even high quality nutrition supplements DO NOT go onto full product use on day one. Introduce things gradually over a few days or even a few weeks.
Initially if you are using meal replacements it would be best to take the amnino protein meal replacement powder once a day.
After a few days add the supplement tablets starting with one of them taken only one time a day initially and adding the rest of the tablets progressively and then taking them twice a day and finally on to normal usage three times a day.
This whole process may take a few days, a few weeks or even a month to establish but if is removes the problems of irritable bowel syndrome from your life it is worth it.
A final note: often when people start on this program they feel very good after a short time and think they can go onto a normal diet immediately. DO NOT DO THAT. Introduce things gradually. If it takes six weeks to get onto a normal diet where you can eat anything it is a fantastic outcome. Be patient with the process.
Further reading through our articles on health issues will give you a body of information that will help you decide what options you have to deal with the underlying causes of your Gastritis problem through giving your body the nutrition products that will assist you body to heal from the inside out.
We wish you well in your search for solutions to this problem and your movement towards better health in all areas.
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