Gastritis is a painful inflammation of the stomach lining which can be caused by many things. The most common cause is infection with the H. pylori bacteria, but there are other causes as well, such as frequent painkillers, excessive alcohol consumption, and stress. Symptoms of gastritis include loss of appetite and weight loss, nausea and vomiting, pain in the upper abdomen, belching and bloating, and/or feeling full even though you only eat a little. Mild cases can be treated with over-the-counter medications, dietary changes, and stress-reducing techniques. However, severe or prolonged gastritis usually requires medical treatment.
Easy Home Remedies and Lifestyle Changes
Try an over-the-counter antacid. Antacids will not treat ulcers that may form due to gastritis, but will reduce the amount of stomach acid so that stomach pain is reduced. If gastritis is caused by what you eat and drink—too much alcohol, acidic drinks like coffee and soda, and too many processed or fatty foods; taking antacids after meals may help.
Examples of common antacids are aluminum hydroxide (Amphojel, AlternaGEL), magnesium hydroxide (Phillips’ Milk of Magnesia), aluminum hydroxide and magnesium hydroxide (Maalox, Mylanta), calcium carbonate (Rolaids, Titralac, Tums), and sodium bicarbonate (Alka). -Seltzer)
Be aware that antacids can interfere with the effect of the medication. Make sure you take antacids for at least an hour after other medications.
Drink filtered water. Try to drink 8 glasses of water containing 250 ml every day. This will reduce the acidity in the stomach. In addition, adequate body fluids are very important because dehydration can cause an increase in the amount of stomach acid so as to exacerbate the effects of gastritis. Filtered water is easier on the stomach because potentially irritating minerals have been removed.
Take supplements. The right oils and vitamins can help reduce inflammation in the stomach lining and also fight H. pylori , the bacteria that causes many cases of gastritis. Consider:
Vitamin E: Reduces inflammation.
Vitamin C: 5 grams of vitamin C taken daily for 4 weeks has been shown to eliminate H. pylori in some people with gastritis.
Omega-3 fatty acids such as fish oil: One or two capsules a day, or a teaspoon two to three times a day, can reduce inflammation.
Probiotics: The “good” bacteria in probiotics help suppress H. pylori that causes gastritis.
Use herbal remedies. Herbs have been used for centuries to fight the symptoms of gastritis. You can take it in capsule form, steeply (1 tsp. herb per cup of hot water), or as an extract. If you want a brew, the leaves and flowers should be steeped for 10 minutes and the roots should be steeped for 10–20 minutes, and drink two to four cups a day.
Cranberries : 400 mg twice daily. Cranberries help fight H. pylori infection so the bacteria don’t invade the tissues. Cranberry juice and pills are equally effective.
Mastic extract: 1,000–2,000 mg daily, taken in two to three doses. This herb has been shown to inhibit the growth of H. pylori bacteria .
DGL liquorice extract: 250–500 mg, three times daily. Licorice reduces inflammation and fights H. pylori bacteria . DGL is liquorice without glycyrrhizin , a chemical that has negative side effects.
Menthol: 1 tablet coated with 0.2 ml, two to three times a day or drink a decoction of menthol leaves after meals. Menthol can cool the stomach and fight the H. pylori bacteria .
Ginger: Ginger helps prevent peptic ulcers and reduces the amount of H. pylori in the intestines. You can chew fresh ginger, boil it and drink the water, or add ginger powder to your drink.
Switch to over-the-counter pain relievers that you normally use. The use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin and ibuprofen , is one of the main causes of gastritis. Try switching to another pain reliever that causes less irritation, such as acetaminophen. If you still have problems, ask your doctor for other pain relief options.
Avoid foods and drinks that irritate the stomach. Gastritis gets worse if you eat a lot of processed, fried, or heavily spiced foods. If you can, cook your own food with natural ingredients, and avoid:
Acidic drinks such as coffee, soda, or orange juice
Processed foods, such as pasta, white bread, and sugar
Saturated fatty acids commonly found in foods such as pastries, cakes, and other commercial breads and biscuits
Processed foods such as breakfast cereals, chips, frozen foods, or processed meats such as bacon and sausages
Highly spiced food
Do something you enjoy. If gastritis strikes, try to calm yourself down with fun activities, such as reading a book, listening to music, doing a hobby, or eating with friends. Reducing stress can also reduce symptoms.
Enjoy time with friends and loved ones. Positive social interactions, especially those involving physical contact such as hugs, can reduce oxytocin which will reduce stress levels. Even a brief interaction has had a powerful effect. So make an effort every day to take a coffee break with a friend at work, chat with a neighbor, or call a friend or family member. If you need help developing a social network, consider:
Try social hobbies like playing cards or team sports
Join the book club
Looking for friends in places of worship
Take your pet dog for a walk in the park
Making Small Changes in Lifestyle
Reduce smoking and drinking alcohol. Excessive alcohol consumption is one of the causes of gastritis, and smoking has also been confirmed as another cause. Reducing alcohol consumption can help relieve stomach irritation, reduce gastritis symptoms, and help limit the frequency with which gastritis comes back.
Eat in smaller portions. If you sometimes feel stomach ache and experience symptoms of mild gastritis, ease the work of digestion by eating small portions with a frequency more often than three large portions. Try to eat every two to hours throughout the day.
Consume more fruits and vegetables. In addition to knowing what foods to avoid, you also have to know what foods are beneficial. The more you eat fresh fruit and vegetables, the better. In particular, choose fruits and vegetables that are high in flavonoids , antioxidants, B vitamins, or calcium, such as:
Antioxidant-rich foods: blueberries , cherries, tomatoes, squash, bell peppers
Foods rich in B vitamins and calcium: almonds, nuts, whole grains, spinach, kale
Foods containing flavonoids that inhibit H. pylori : apples, celery, cranberries
Eat healthy sources of protein. Lean meats, fish, and tofu are good sources of protein that help maintain digestive health. Lean cuts of meat usually include round or loin in the name. Examples of lean meats are:
Poultry (white meat without skin)
Beef: flank steak , sirloin tip , eye of round , top round , tenderloin , top loin , rump roast , and lean ground beef
Babi: center loin, tenderloin, Canadian bacon
Lamb: chop , leg roast , tenderloin shank
Game animals: deer, antelope, young pigeons, wild ducks (without skin), pheasants, rabbits
Reduce stress . Stress has been shown to lead to increased inflammation and acid reflux, both of which exacerbate gastritis symptoms. Whatever the effect of stress on gastritis, causing it or just making it worse, learning to deal with and reduce stress is an important step towards relieving stomach pain.
Adequate sleep . Lack of sleep has a negative impact on health, from a weakened immune system to an increased risk of obesity. Getting enough sleep can reduce stress and help you deal with unexpected stressful incidents. Adults should try to get seven to nine hours of sleep each night, teens nine to ten hours, and children at least 10 hours. To help you get enough sleep, try:
Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
Limit the use of computers and cell phones near bedtime because electronic devices can interfere with sleep.
Do not eat one hour before bedtime.
Cope with stressful situations . Some stressful situations, such as a long trip, are unavoidable, but can be managed so you don’t get too stressed. If you’re stressed from working overtime on the weekends, take some time on Friday to make a “to-do” list for the following week, listing how you’re going to get all the things done. If you hate traffic jams, go early to avoid it, or listen to an audiobook or music to distract yourself. If your family gets into a fight over the holidays, try going out and relaxing alone for some time.
Sport. Exercise, particularly aerobic exercise, has been clinically proven to reduce anxiety and depression. Remember, start slowly and don’t overdo it at first. Some types of exercise that are proven to help you relax and increase the production of endorphins are:
Walk or jog at least 10 minutes.
Taici or qi gong (a meditative martial art from China)
Apply relaxation techniques. Meditation has been shown to improve health and reduce stress. There are many meditation techniques, but most contain four basics: a quiet place with very few distractions, comfortable posture, focused attention (the object, word sequence, or sensation of breathing), and an open mind (allowing thoughts to come and go without being judged). Some of the specific techniques that have proven useful are:
Mindfulness meditation. Sit in a comfortable and quiet place, hands placed on the thighs. Let the view point to the desired point. Concentrate on the breath, don’t try to control it, just feel it. When the thought arises, return the focus to the breath gently. Start with 10 minutes, and increase the time little by little.
Taici or qi gong . Two types of Chinese martial arts that combine movement, breathing and relaxation.
Mantra Meditation. Sit in a comfortable posture in a quiet place. Repeat your chosen word or phrase in a low voice to avoid distracting distractions. When your mind is distracted, return your attention to the mantra.
Talk to a mental health professional. Talking to a professional therapist is a proven way to deal with problems and reduce stress. The therapist can provide tips for dealing with stress in everyday life. If you feel like you can’t cope with the day, are thinking about suicide, or are having problems with drugs or alcohol, you should seek the help of a mental health professional immediately.
Ask for a diagnosis. The doctor will examine you and perform several tests to make a diagnosis. The doctor will also study your medical history and listen to the abdomen with a stethoscope. Make sure you describe the symptoms accurately and precisely. Your doctor may order blood tests, stool tests, and/or breath tests. These three tests can check for H. pylori infection and its potential causes and contributing factors.
In some cases, the doctor may decide to perform an endoscopy. This examination is performed by inserting a small tube, called an endoscope, into the esophagus and down into the stomach. The endoscope has a camera to visualize the wound and a biopsy capability to check for infection or abnormal gastric conditions.
An alternative to endoscopy is barium swallow and X-rays. This method is less invasive, but less accurate.
Take medication to treat stomach acid. Depending on your diagnosis, you may be prescribed medication that will relieve your symptoms by reducing acid in your stomach. The drug allows healing of the stomach lining. The two main types of drugs prescribed are:
H-2 blockers: cimetidine (Tagamet), ranitidine (Zantac), nizatidine (Axid), and famotidine (Pepcid) work by reducing the amount of acid released into the digestive tract.
Proton pump inhibitors: esomeprazole (Nexium), lansoprazole (Prevacid), omeprazole (Prilosec), pantoprazole (Protonix), and rabeprazole (AcipHex) also reduce acid levels in the gut. Some can be purchased without a prescription.
Get treatment for Helicobacter pylori infection . H. pylori infection is a major cause of gastritis. If you are diagnosed with this infection, your doctor will prescribe a series of medications to treat it. This treatment is called H. pylori eradication therapy , and generally involves a course of medication consisting of two antibiotics and a proton pump inhibitor to reduce stomach acid and allow restoration of the stomach lining.
If you are prescribed a series of medications, make sure you buy them all and take them all the way through.
For H. pylori infection , you usually need to take the medication for 10–14 days.