Gastritis

Gastritis

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Gastritis is an inflammation of the lining tissues of the stomach. Gastritis can develop suddenly (Acute Gastritis) or slowly (Chronic Gastritis). If you have uncontrolled gastritis, you will have an increased risk of developing ulcers and cancers of the stomach. However, you can manage gastritis with medicines and some lifestyle changes.

Symptoms of Gastritis

  •     Upper abdominal (epigastric) burning or dull pain.
  •     Nausea or vomiting.
  •     Fullness and discomfort of the abdomen.
  •     Acid Regurgitation.
  •     Loss of appetite.

Causes and risk factors of Gastritis

  •     Helicobacter pylori bacteria infection
  •     Alcohol consumption
  •     Smoking
  •     Aspirin and some painkillers (NSAIDS – Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
  •     Stress due to lifestyle, major surgery, serious injury, burn injury and severe infections.
  •     Autoimmune diseases.
  •     Cancer chemotherapy and radiotherapy
  •     Some allergens
  •     Chronic bile reflux
  •     Corrosive ingestion
  •     Excessive caffeine ingestion
  •     Some fungal and viral infections
  •     Iron therapy
  •     Overeating
  •     Steroid treatment
  •     Stomach injury or surgery

Consult your doctor, if you have features of gastritis because, some other illnesses can cause some symptoms of gastritis.

E.g.:

  •     Heart diseases
  •     Cancers of the stomach
  •     Pancreatitis (Inflammation of the pancreas)
  •     Biliary pain (Inflammation or infection of gallbladder and biliary tract)
  •     Peptic ulcers

How to manage gastritis?

Both your drug compliance (antibiotics, medications that block or cut acid production and antacids), and lifestyle changes are very important to cure gastritis. Avoid or reduce following triggering factors of gastritis.

  •     Alcohol
  •     Smoking
  •     Drugs – Aspirin, NSAIDs, Steroids, iron therapy
  •     Allergens
  •     Coffee and caffeine containing drinks (cola and tea)
  •     Chocolate
  •     Oily and fried meals
  •     Spicy meals
  •     Acidic meals and beverages
  •     Overeating
  •     Dairy products
  •     Fasting
  •     Stress (good sleeping, resting, and enjoying your life is important)
  •     Tight clothes

Eat smaller and frequent meals (six times a day). Eat more dietary fibres (vegetables and fruits). Chew your meal well and take at least 15 minutes to finish your meals. Take adequate water throughout the day. Sleep at least three hours after your dinner. It is important to reduce your weight, if you are overweight or obese. Do regular exercises.

 

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About the author
Dr. Nalaka Priyantha is the founder and author of 'DRN Health'. He currently works at the Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka as a senior medical officer. He is blogging about healthy living since 2012.
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