GastritisGastritis occurs when the lining of the stomach becomes inflamed or swollen. It is an inflammatory digestive condition but not a disease. Gastritis can be acute (lasting for a brief period), or chronic (lingering on for months to years). It is characterized by severe pain in the stomach or upper abdomen. In erosive gastritis drugs, alcohol, infection and acute stress all can be a prelude to the condition. In most non-erosive gastritis conditions H. pylori is found to be the primary cause. H. pylori can often be discovered in people who have no noticeable symptoms of gastritis. Symptoms occur when the gut becomes a conducive environment for H. pylori to colonize. According to Ayurveda, it is often the buildup of toxins and impurities and blockage of proper circulation in the gut that creates the ground for irritation of the lining from both H. Pylori growth and toxins.1

Causes

The most common causes of gastritis are:

  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Smoking
  • Poor nutrition
  • Infection of the stomach with a bacteria called Helicobacter pylori
  • Certain medications, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen, when taken over a longer period of time
  • Disruption of natural biological rhythms

Less common causes are:

  • Extreme mental and physical stress
  • Autoimmune disorders, including pernicious anemia
  • Backflow of bile into the stomach (bile reflux)
  • Viral infection, such as herpes simplex virus, Epstein Barr or cytomegalovirus, particularly for those with weak immune systems
  • Cocaine abuse

Blood loss and increased risk of gastric cancer are rare complications. See your physician immediately if you experience pain in the upper part of the belly or abdomen that does not go away, vomiting blood or material that looks like coffee grounds, or have black or tarry stools, which may indicate bleeding in the stomach lining.2

Symptoms

Gastritis can be asymptomatic. Symptoms you may notice are:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pain in the upper part of the abdomen

If gastritis is causing bleeding from the lining of the stomach, symptoms may include:

  • Black stools
  • Vomiting blood or coffee-ground like material

Recommended testing from your health care provider 

  • Examination of the stomach with an endoscope
  • H. pylori tests
  • Stool test to check for small amounts of blood in the stools, which may be a sign of bleeding in the stomach
  • Complete blood count to check for low blood count or anemia 

After talking to your health care provider, you may want to discontinue aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen if you are currently taking them. Other irritants include anti-inflammatory drugs, tobacco and alcohol.

Recommended Foods and Drinks

  • Fresh fruits before breakfast and fresh vegetables with lunch and dinner
  • Grass-fed meat, wild fish, antibiotic free and hormone free chicken
  • Goat yogurt and kefir
  • Non-pasteurized sauerkraut
  • Soaked whole grains, nuts and seeds (in small amounts)
  • Apple cider vinegar (1 TB in 8 ounces water with 2 tsp honey) or 4-6 oz. Kombucha
  • Dandelion greens
  • Miso soup
  • Soups with a bone broth base, particularly chicken
  • Fresh organic cabbage juice (drink within minutes of juicing)
  • Coconut water: soothing, hydrating and full of vitamins, electrolytes and minerals
  • Foods containing flavonoids, like celery, apples, cranberries (including cranberry juice), garlic, onions and tea may inhibit the growth of H. pylori.
  • Foods high in calcium and B vitamins, such as beans, almonds, sea vegetables, beans, whole grains (if no allergy) and dark leafy greens (kale, for example).
  • Antioxidant foods including blueberries, cherries, and tomatoes and squash.4

* Do not drink water with meals; it dilutes stomach acid

Foods to Avoid

  • Alcohol
  • Refined cane sugar (negatively affects gut flora)
  • Refined carbohydrates
  • Grain-fed meat
  • Cow dairy
  • Coffee
  • Orange juice
  • Carbonated beverages
  • Fried foods

* Lying down after a late meal can cause indigestion, so make sure to eat your last meal 3-4 hours before bedtime

Recommended Supplementation for Gastritis 

1. VSL #3 Probiotic

To help prevent infection and raise immunity.

2. Source Naturals Enzymes

By suppling enzymes, the body has to produce less from the enzyme bank to break down food and can divert resources towards healing the gut.

3. B-Complex Plus

Poor nutrition, alcohol intake and stress contribute to b-vitamin deficiencies and inflammation.

4. Lion’s Mane

Lion’s mane has traditionally been used in the treatment of gastritis and extracts have been shown to be effective clinically and in animal models with reported inhibition rates of 70-90%.6

References

1. http://www.theraj.com/gastritis/

2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002135/

3. http://www.theraj.com/gastritis/

4. http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/gastritis-000067.htm#ixzz1pEBIqo6S

5.Medicinal Mushrooms: A Clinical Guide

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