Gastritis: Causes, Symptoms and Management

3 Min Read
Eating too much fast food can induce gastrointestinal diseases such as gastritis. Image: Pixabay

What is Gastritis?

Gastritis is inflammation of the lining of the stomach. The stomach lining helps prevent acids from damaging the stomach.  

What causes gastritis?

1. Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori)

These bacteria are the most common cause of gastritis.

2. Non – Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

NSAID medicines are usually taken for pain, swelling, or fever. They can wear down the lining of the stomach if patients take too many or take them over a long period of time.

3. Alcohol

Alcohol can cause gastritis if taken often or over a long period of time.

4. Smoking

Sign and Symptoms

Patients may have gastritis but not feel sick. They may notice any of the following:

1. Stomach hurts, burns, or is tender when you press on it

2. Nausea or vomiting

3. Patients do not feel like eating, or they feel full quickly when they eat. The stomach feels full and tight.

4. Bad breath

5. Feel more tired than usual

How is gastritis treated?

Treatment will depend on what is causing gastritis.

Following medicines may be given:

1. Antacids: These medicines help decrease stomach acid.

2. Antibiotics: This medicine helps treat an infection caused by bacteria.

How can gastritis be managed?

Avoid NSAIDs. 

They can irritate the stomach. It may help to take them with food, but you may not be able to take NSAIDs at all.

Avoid alcohol

Alcohol can make your gastritis worse.

Avoid spicy foods.

Do not eat right before going to sleep. Do not eat foods that bother your stomach

Diet for Ulcers and Gastritis

A diet for ulcers and gastritis is an eating plan that limits or does not include foods that irritate the stomach. The stomach can be irritated by foods that increase stomach acid. Limiting or avoiding drinks and foods that cause the symptoms, such as stomach pain, heartburn, or indigestion is required.

Which foods should be limited or avoided?

Not all foods affect everyone the same way. It is important to learn which foods cause the symptoms. The following are some foods that you may need to limit or avoid:

1. Beverages:

Hot cocoa and aerated drinks/Whole milk and chocolate milk

Peppermint and spearmint tea

Green and black tea, with or without caffeine

Drinks that contain alcohol

Orange and grapefruit juices

2. Spices and seasonings:

Black and red pepper, chilies

Garlic powder

Chili powder

3. Other foods:

Spicy or strongly flavored cheeses, jalapeno

Highly seasoned, high-fat meats, such as sausage, salami, bacon, ham

Onions and garlic

Tomato products, such as tomato paste, tomato sauce, or tomato juice

Which foods are safe to eat and drink in gastritis?

Eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat dairy foods. Whole grains include whole-wheat bread, cereals, pasta, and brown rice. Choose lean meats, poultry (chicken and turkey), fish, beans, eggs, and nuts. A healthy meal plan is low in unhealthy fats, salt, and added sugar. Healthy fats include olive oil and canola oil.

Important Tips:

Do not eat right before bedtime - Stop eating at least 2 hours before bedtime.

Eat small, frequent meals - Your stomach may tolerate small, frequent meals better than large meals.

What are the risks of gastritis?

Gastritis may happen suddenly, or it may be a long-term problem. The patient may get a perforation (hole) in the stomach, which can be life-threatening.

Without treatment, symptoms may not go away or may become worse. Some types of gastritis may destroy the stomach lining. This may affect how the body digests food. The stomach may become blocked. This can cause pain. If irritation becomes worse, you may develop ulcers (tears in your stomach lining). Gastritis can cause stomach bleeding. Seek immediate care if the patient:

  • Has severe stomach or back pain
  • Vomits blood
  • Have black or bloody bowel movements
  • Develop chest pain or shortness of breath

HealthCurate articles are backed by evidence curated from reliable sources and researches in India and other parts of the world. We aim to provide only reliable health and medical information. If you find anything that doesn't align to this goal, do let us know.

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