Gastritis is an inflammation of the mucus membrane lining of the stomach. It is a common stomach disorder that may result from many causes such as acute alcoholism, drugs like aspirin, hot spicy food, food allergy, bacteria etc. Gastritis can be acute and sudden in onset or it can be gradual chronic complaint.
Nausea, vomiting, headache, blood vomit, black tarry stools, loss of appetite are few important symptoms of gastritis. In most cases it is not a serious disorder but sometimes chronic gastritis can be a precipitating cause for stomach ulcers. Depending on the underlying cause, gastritis can be treated with simple home remedies and change in diet as well as lifestyle.
Symptoms Of Gastritis
Fortunately the mucus membrane lining of the stomach can regenerate within 72 hours therefore problem is relatively brief. But if the underlying cause is still present to produce inflammation and erosion, the symptoms can be long lasting and bothering.
The symptoms may also depend on severity. In some cases if the condition is mild, the symptoms remain unnoticed. In its moderate and severe form, gastritis may produce symptoms such as;
- Pain and discomfort in the stomach.
- Nausea and vomiting that may lead to dehydration. It may have serious consequences especially in elderly individuals and children.
- Loss of appetite.
- In acute gastritis, there may be blood vomits. In chronic gastritis, there may be black tarry stools as a result of tiny hemorrhages in the mucus lining of stomach.
- Dizziness, headache and general malaise.
- In chronic cases – after meals there is a feeling of fullness, heartburn, anemia, hemorrhage, loss of weight.
Causes Of Acute And Chronic Gastritis
The main reason for gastritis is damage to the internal lining of the gastric mucosa. The function of gastric mucus lining is to protect the stomach wall from acids secreted in stomach meant for digestion of food. When this mucus lining is damaged due to several causes mentioned below or if it becomes weak, the acid secreted within the stomach cause inflammation and irritation to the stomach wall giving rise to gastritis.
Acute gastritis Causes:
- The most common cause for inflammation of gastric mucosa is due to ingestion of irritant material. Perhaps the most frequent irritant is alcohol.
- Other irritants include drugs such as aspirin, phenylbutazone and corrosives. Strong acids and alkalis, iodine, potassium permanganate are few corrosive material that are known to cause gastritis.
- Acute gastritis may also occur during the course of specific infection such as diphtheria, influenza. Bile is also an irritant to the stomach wall and may cause acute gastritis as a complication of gastric surgery.
Causes of chronic gastritis:
- A bacterium called H. Pylori is the most common cause for chronic gastritis. People infected with this bacterium may not present with immediate symptoms. But gradually the bacterium weakens the stomach wall and acid secreted by stomach may infiltrate in stomach wall and cause stomach ulcer.
- The stomach lining in elderly individuals becomes weak and thin. It gives opportunity for H. pylori infection.
- Chronic gastritis occurs invariably in pernicious anemia. Pernicious anemia is due to vitamin B12 deficiency.
It also occurs in certain autoimmune diseases such as thyroiditis and Addison’s disease.
Daily Diet Plan For Gastritis Patient
Mild form of gastritis may not need extensive medical care. The symptoms may heal within few days with lifestyle modification, change in diet and certain natural remedies. For example a patient who has consumed excessive alcohol or spicy food should obviously cease them and the symptoms will disappear in few days. Similarly gastritis associated with specific fever will disappear as infection subsides.
The following diet should be followed:
- Upon arising – Luke warm water with lemon juice and honey.
- Breakfast – Fresh fruit, raw nuts and a glass of milk.
- Mid morning snack – Any fruit.
- Lunch – 2 to 3 whole meal bread, steamed vegetables and a glass of buttermilk.
- Mid Afternoon – A glass of sugarcane juice, fresh fruit or vegetable juice.
- Dinner – Green vegetable salad with lemon juice and vegetable oil dressing, cottage cheese, fresh butter and sprouts.
- Bed Time – An apple or a glass of milk.
Avoid sour things, spices, condiments, chilly, fleshy food and sweets, alcohol and smoking. Drink 200 milliliters of spinach juice mixed with equal quantity of carrot juice.
Natural Remedies To Cure Gastritis
- Milk has always been known to relieve pain in peptic ulcer and gastritis. Drink small cup of cold milk two to three times in a day. Choose milk instead of tea and coffee.
- Rice gruel is effective in acute cases.
- Coconut water provides necessary nutrients and gives rest to the stomach. It should be taken during first 24 hours for better results.
- Apply heat on an empty stomach twice a day for 2 hours after meal.
- Give sponge bath daily.
- Avoid worries, mental tension and hard physical work.
- H. pylori cause gastritis. It raises the level of free radical in stomach lining. These unstable molecules contribute to inflammation and gastric damage. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps to control free radical molecule. This is the reason some vitamin C rich fruits such as Indian gooseberry, oranges and lemon juice are found beneficial in chronic gastritis.
- Raw potato juice is a time tested home remedy for acute and chronic gastritis. Potato starch in raw potato is an anti inflammatory for gastric mucosa. Drink half cup two to three times half an hour before meals.
- Eat two to three bananas in a day. Banana is proven natural remedy for gastric inflammation.