People prone to gastritis know how debilitating the condition can be. The nausea, bloating, indigestion and stomach pain interfere with your day-to-day activities. You also always have to watch what you eat so you don’t endure sleepless nights due to discomfort.
If left untreated, gastritis can lead to more severe ailments like anaemia, stomach ulcers, and cancer.
What is Gastritis?
Your stomach consists of a protective lining of mucus called the mucosa. This lining protects your stomach from being damaged by the strong stomach acid that digests food. When this lining gets eroded, damaged or inflamed, gastritis occurs.
Gastritis can be acute (occuring suddenly) or chronic (occuring gradually). When you suffer from gastritis, you may experience symptoms like:
- A burning ache or pain in your upper abdomen that becomes either worse or better with eating.
- A feeling of stuffiness and bloating in the stomach.
- A loss of appetite or immediately feeling full while eating.
- Blood in the vomit or stool.
- Constant indigestion and gas.
Causes of Gastritis
Your stomach lining can get inflamed or damaged due to various reasons. Some of them are:
Alcohol abuse: Alcohol can be a harsh substance and excessive consumption will irritate and erode the stomach lining.
Bacterial infection: H. pylori bacteria breaks down the stomach lining, causing gastritis. It is the most common cause of chronic gastritis and stomach ulcers. It can enter the body through contaminated water or food, or direct contact with an infected person’s saliva, vomit or faecal matter.
Autoimmune disease: An autoimmune disease is when your immune system attacks healthy cells in your body, mistaking them for dangerous substances. If your immune system attacks cells in your stomach lining, you might suffer from gastritis.
Medications: The prolonged use of certain medications like anti-inflammatory drugs and pain killers can erode your stomach lining.
Bile reflux: When bile, a substance made by the liver to help digest fatty foods, flows back into the stomach, it can inflame the stomach lining.
If you’re frequently experiencing the symptoms mentioned above, seek medical attention. Gastritis can be diagnosed by your doctor with blood tests, stool tests and/or an endoscopy.
Your treatment plan might include antacids, antibiotics and medicines that decrease the production of stomach acid or regulate its quantity.
To improve your digestion and stomach health, you can make certain changes to your diet and lifestyle. For starters, try consuming more apple cider vinegar, as it aids in digestion, balances your stomach’s pH level, and even detoxifies your body.
ACV can often have a harsh taste, which is why Setu designed tasty Apple Cider Vinegar Gummies that have all the goodness of ACV minus the strong taste!
Other home remedies for gastritis include consuming fibre-rich foods that aid digestion, avoiding unhygienic food, and reducing stress by meditating, going for a leisurely walk or listening to music. Additionally, try to cut down on alcohol, caffeine and nicotine. Also make sure to get enough sleep and exercise and always, always wash your hands before you eat. Small changes to your lifestyle can reduce your chances of developing gastritis.
1) What are complications associated with gastritis?
Untreated gastritis can cause stomach ulcers, or sores on the lining of the stomach. Stomach ulcers can turn cancerous if not treated on time. If your gastritis is due to the H. pylori bacteria, you can even develop an iron deficiency or anaemia. Make sure to visit a doctor as soon as you notice any of these symptoms.
2) Is gastritis contagious?
No, gastritis is not contagious. However, if a person suffering from gastritis has the H. pylori bacteria in them, the bacteria can spread to you through the person’s saliva, vomit or faecal matter.
3) Who is most likely to get gastritis?
Older people are more prone to develop gastritis as the stomach lining of an older person is thinner than that of a younger individual. They are also more likely to be on medications that damage the stomach lining. (1)
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