College of DuPage Nursing Student Juan Guenther wrote for Healthy Lombard that Gastritis is a condition in which the lining of the stomach becomes inflamed from the breakdown of the mucus barrier that protects the stomach from the acid, used to digest food (Barhum, 2020; Mayo Clinic 2020). There are several causes of gastritis including, bacteria with Helicobacter pylori, long-term alcohol abuse, painkillers such as Ibuprofen, thinning of the stomach lining associated with aging, stress from major surgery, and autoimmune disorders (Mayo Clinic 2020). Gastritis can also be associated with other conditions such as HIV, Crohn’s disease, and parasitic infections (Barhum, 2020; Mayo Clinic, 2020). It can manifest suddenly or occur over time and cause symptoms such as a burning or stabbing pain in the upper abdomen that becomes better or worse with food, nausea, vomiting, and a feeling of fullness in the upper abdomen after eating (Mayo Clinic, 2020). If it is left untreated, it can cause stomach ulcers and bleeding and increase the risk for stomach cancer (Mayo Clinic, 2020).
Doctors can prescribe different kinds of medication to help treat this disease but there are also non-pharmacological methods to help reduce symptoms and avoid triggers such as diet. Foods that cause inflammation, including processed, acidic, dairy, sugary, or spicy foods are best avoided (Cadman, 2020). It is also best to stay away from alcohol and gluten (Cadman, 2020). Everyone has different triggers, so it is important to keep track of which foods cause symptoms and which are safe to eat.
Foods that prevent gastritis flare-ups
While there are foods that can make gastritis harder on the body, there are also foods that can help manage symptoms. Foods high in fiber, low in fat, and acidifies such as lean meats, vegetables, whole grains, and beans are solid choices (Wells, 2020). Probiotics like yogurt, kimchi, and sauerkraut are also useful as they can help stop the spread of H. pylori (Cadman, 2020; Wells 2020). Broccoli is another good food to eat because it contains antioxidants and sulforaphane (an antibacterial chemical) that can ease inflammation and stop H. pylori (Barhum, 2020).
Tips and Tricks
It is not just about what you eat but how you eat as well to help ease and treat this condition. It is better to eat smaller meals throughout the day than to have two or three large meals (Barhum, 2020). This can help reduce the amount of stomach acid that gets produced when you eat. Be careful not to overindulge and avoid eating until you are full, this can cause more acid production and worsen your symptoms.
Gastritis is a common and very unpleasant experience and can make life miserable for the people who have it. Acute cases tend to resolve quickly, but without treatment, it can easily become chronic and lead to serious consequences in the future (Mayo Clinic, 2020). However, with the right lifestyle and dietary changes, it is very manageable and relatively simple to treat.
Barhum, L. (2020, January 9). Diet tips for gastritis and stomach ulcers. Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317027
Cadman, B. (2020, January 5). Natural remedies for gastritis. Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321138#eight-home-remedies
Gastritis – Diagnosis and treatment – Mayo Clinic. (2020, April 3). Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gastritis/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20355813
Wells, D. (2020, July 1). Gastritis Diet: What to Eat and What to Avoid. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/gastritis-diet