Gastritis is defined as the inflammation of the inner lining of the stomach and happens to affect at least eight people in every 1,000. It is one of the most common digestive tract disorders that may be acute or chronic in nature. This means the effects and severity of gastritis may vary from person to person.
Symptoms of Gastritis
Since the severity of gastritis may vary from person to person, so do the symptoms. Here are some of the most common symptoms experienced by people who are suffering from Gastritis-
- Chronic Indigestion
- Feeling full all the time, specifically in your upper abdomen
- Loss of appetite
- Burning sensation in the stomach
If your gastritis is chronic or erosive, you may experience different symptoms such as-
- Abdominal bloating
- Abdominal pain
- Vomiting blood
- Black tarry stool
These are some of the most common signs and symptoms of Gastritis. If you are experiencing more than one of these symptoms of long durations you should consult your doctor to see if you are suffering from gastritis.
What Causes Gastritis?
There are several factors that have a correlation with gastritis. Certain lifestyle choices and also the continued use of medication can lead to gastritis. There are other factors such as certain infection and bacteria that causes gastritis-
- Helicobacter Pylori- this is a bacteria that infects the stomach and it lives in the inner linings of the stomach or the mucous linings. If this bacteria is left untreated, Gastritis caused by this bacteria can lead to ulcers and in some cases also leads to stomach cancer.
- A common reason that causes Gastritis is bile reflux. This is the backflow of bile juices from the bile tract to the stomach.
There are some other factors that contribute to the increased risk of gastritis. They are as follows-
- Regular consumption of alcohol and excessive smoking can lead to gastritis.
- Routine use of anti steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can lead to gastritis.
- Ingestion of drugs such as cocaine
- Autoimmune diseases
- Diseases pertaining to the digestive tract such as Crohn’s disease or Ulcerative Colitis
- Old Age. The inner lining of the stomach erodes with time and hence Gastritis may be induced due to old age in many individuals.
How Is Gastritis Diagnosed?
Gastritis can be diagnosed with the help of a consultation with your doctor, your doctor will ask you questions related to your health and examine if you have this condition or not. In case your doctor suspects the presence of bacteria such as H. Pylori, they may ask for a stool sample or blood test to determine this.
If your symptoms have persisted for a longer duration and the doctor suspects inflammation, they may check the severity of the condition through endoscopy. This means they will observe your stomach and its inner lining with the help of a long tube that has a camera attached to its end. This helps to determine if there is any inflammation and how severe it is.
Doctors may even take a small sample from the lining of your stomach if they suspect something more sinister. One of the methods to narrow down the areas which are affected by gastritis is to get an X-ray of the abdomen, after making you swallow a barium solution which will highlight the affected areas in the X-ray.
What is the Treatment for Gastritis?
The right gastritis cure can be determined by taking the severity and the cause of gastritis into account. If your illness is caused by the ingestion of medicines, consumption of alcohol, or excessive smoking, the best way to deal with the symptoms of gastritis is to stop the consumption of these substances. If your condition is caused by the presence of certain bacteria, then it is important to understand how to optimize the microbiome towards more friendly bacteria. This is mainly done via changes in diet towards foods that contain fiber. Fiber is very important as this is what the symbiotic/good bacteria in our bowels feed on.
According to the cause and the severity of the condition, your doctor may suggest certain medicines to reduce the effects of the illness such as antacids which reduce the amount of acid in the stomach. They may also suggest proton pump inhibitors that inhibit the production of acid in your stomach. Some may suggest the use of probiotics to help increase the good bacteria in your stomach and heal stomach ulcers. These are short term solutions and do not deal with the root cause of the problem, an incorrect diet, and lifestyle. To truly heal from Gastritis, changes must be made to the diet and lifestyle. If this is not done, symptoms will come and go. They will also generally worsen over time.
If your condition is caused by digestive disorders such as Crohn’s disease you can also heal Gastritis with the help of the right treatment and diet regime can help fight your symptoms. One of the most effective methods to heal any digestive tract ailment is to switch to easy-to-digest plant-based meals. These meals provide sufficient nutrients and do not take a lot of effort to digest. They also help restore the natural balance of the microbiome in the stomach and digestive tract. Diet education plans such as the ones that High Carb Health has created for many of its happy clients can help relieve abdominal pain and other such symptoms in patients of gastritis. Best of all, we do this without the use of medications, pills, potions, probiotics, or supplements.