Gastritis is inflammation (irritation) of the stomach lining. This may be caused by many factors including infection, alcohol, particular medications and some allergic and immune conditions. Gastritis can be either acute (with severe attacks lasting a day or two) or chronic (with long-term appetite loss or nausea). In many cases, gastritis has no symptoms (asymptomatic).
Some forms, including chronic atrophic gastritis, have been associated with an increased risk of stomach cancer. Treatment options include avoiding exposure to known irritants and taking medication to reduce the amount of gastric juices.
While there are instances where medical treatment is necessary to treat gastritis, many people find they can manage the symptoms at home. People with gastritis should see a doctor if they experience:
- a gastritis flare-up that lasts more than a week
- vomiting blood
- blood in the stool
However, outside of medication, the four main causes of gastritis can all be remedied to some extent by changing your diet. Gastritis is the weakening of the stomach lining, and can sometimes be cured by a lifestyle change. Symptoms for gastritis can range from none at all to abdominal pain, indigestion, nausea, and even anemia. A diet change for gastritis focuses on alleviating the common causes of gastritis, and can be an effective gastritis treatment.
Finally, some people also choose to take over-the-counter drugs, such as antacids, to control severe symptoms, while others are prescribed proton pump inhibitors or H2 blockers to help control levels of stomach acid. In the cases where chronic gastritis causes anemia, it’s common for vitamin B12 deficiency to be treated using intermittent injections.
Research shows that foods that can help manage gastritis symptoms include high-antioxidant foods (especially those with flavonoids, like berries), onions, garlic, squash, bell peppers, nuts, soaked legumes/beans, sprouted whole grains, sea vegetables, and grass-fed meat or pasture-raised poultry. Supplements like omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics and vitamin C can also be beneficial for gastritis sufferers.