Irritation in the lining of the stomach is termed as Gastritis. It is caused primarily because of a defect in the barrier which is lined with mucus and insulates the stomach wall from getting irritated by digestive juices. Because of this defect, the digestive juices get the chance to damage the lining of the stomach. There are many conditions and ailments that tend to make you vulnerable to gastritis.
Gastritis occurs in two forms - chronic gastritis and acute gastritis. In chronic gastritis the disease develops progressively and can persist for a long period of time, while in acute gastritis it progresses at a rapid rate and without any warning.
Although most cases of chronic gastritis respond to treatment and the patient gets better very quickly without having any after effects, there are cases in which the condition might increase your chances of developing stomach cancer and lead to ulcers.
There are a number of diseases and drugs that can inflame your stomach lining. For instance, consuming too much alcohol, kidney failure, continuous and severe stress can all result in chronic gastritis. Moreover, continuous use of drugs like ibuprofen and aspirin, bile reflux in which bile enters into the stomach, attack of a viral infection on a weakened immune system and H. pylori, a bacteria that induces stomach ulcers.
The chances increase if your eating habits and lifestyle are elevating your stomach’s acid content. For instance, regular consumption of citrus fruits, fats, oils and coffee in large amounts makes you vulnerable to this condition.
Having a weakened immune system or suffering from a disease like Crohn’s disease can increase your chances of getting chronic gastritis. In addition to this, the acid content in your stomach can rise if you have anger issues that stem from a traumatic incident in the past or living a stressful life.
This condition mostly targets people that have reached the age of fifty but in underdeveloped countries even children can become infected with this disease before they reach adulthood.
It is not compulsory that you feel any symptoms in chronic gastritis. It is not uncommon for people to suffer from this condition and still not notice any symptom at all. It is characterized by irritation or swelling of the lining of the stomach and develops gradually in contrast to acute gastritis that occurs unexpectedly.
The common signs are weight or appetite loss, vomiting and nausea, bloating or indigestion, belching or pain in the upper abdominal area. You might experience stomach pain that does not go away easily or might not even feel any kind of pain if you have this disease. Moreover, another symptom of this disease is that even eating a few mouthfuls would make you feel full.
In advanced stages, black stools or stomach bleeding are symptoms that are you are most likely to experience. If you are having blood in your vomit, black stools or incessant stomach ache then you must get medical attention immediately.
When diagnosing your doctor is going to take your medical history and will inquire you about the symptoms you are experiencing. He will order medical tests like: Endoscopy in which a camera is going to be introduced into your mouth and your digestive tract by means of a long tube to study the state of your stomach
Prescribing medications for minimizing the acidic content in your stomach would be the first option that you doctor will use for treating chronic gastritis. He is most likely to give you Prilosec which is a proton-pump inhibitor, antacids like Tums or Alka-Seltzer and Zantac which is H2 antagonist for this purpose. The doctor might also suggest you to stop the use of medicines like aspirin to stop the stomach inflammation as well.
Taking medications for gastritis usually masks the symptoms while taking a gastritis diet can help in healing the stomach in a natural manner. If you want to get rid of the symptoms then having a healthy diet and avoiding foods that increase the acid in your stomach is your only real option.
Suggesting a bland diet is the next thing that you doctor might do for decreasing the inflammation in your stomach. The foods he will ask you to refrain from include coffee, French fries, citrus juices, oil-fried vegetables, alcohol and fried foods.
The foods that your doctor is going to recommend are lean meats, dairy products that contain low fat, rice and pasta that have no fat, fruits and vegetables excluding citrus fruits and foods that have low citrus, caffeine, oil or fat content present in them.
Adding broccoli and garlic in your daily diet can help you in killing the H. pylori bacteria which causes stomach ulcers. Moreover, eating foods like kefir, organic yogurt and sourdough bread that contain Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus which are probiotics can help you in increasing your ability to absorb vitamin B12 and fix your gut as well.
Dividing your meals into small portions and eating at regular intervals instead of having three large regular meals and managing your stress by doing yoga, meditation and tai chi can help you in controlling the symptoms of chronic gastritis.
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The underlying cause for your chronic gastritis will decide the extent of your recovery from this disease. For instance, stopping consumption of certain drugs and citrus foods can relieve your symptoms if your condition has resulted because of having an acidic diet. However, in such cases, the chronic gastritis can come back if you start your acidic diet again. Gastric cancer and stomach bleeding are the diseases that might result from chronic gastritis if no treatment is sought for it.