Treat Stomach Ulcers, Acid Reflux and Gastritis with 1 Ingredient
Symptoms of this uncomfortable condition account for more than 2 million visits to the doctor each year in the U.S. alone. This is because gastritis symptoms can wreak all kinds of havoc on people’s digestive tracts, leaving them in all sorts of pain and discomfort.
What is gastritis, you ask? It’s an uncomfortable digestive problem caused by stomach inflammation and erosion of the lining of the stomach (called the gastric mucosa). Some people use the terms indigestion and gastritis interchangeably, since both cause similar symptoms. However, while it’s normal to experience occasional indigestion or an upset stomach from time to time, a diagnosis of gastritis is made when tests reveal that someone has marked inflammation of the stomach or persistent gastritis symptoms.
Not every person with gastritis experiences any symptoms at all, but many people do. It’s common for gastritis patients to suffer frequent episodes of stomach pains, bloated stomach, burning and other pains. People can experience gastritis symptoms both short term (acute gastritis) or for many years at a time (chronic gastritis).
The underlying reason gastritis develops is due to a weakened lining of the digestive tract, specifically the mucus-lined barrier that normally keeps digestive acids and juices from damaging the stomach. Detrimental lifestyle factors, including smoking, eating a poor diet and using over-the-counter painkillers frequently, contribute to inflammation within the stomach and increase the odds of developing gastritis.
If you’re middle-aged or older, overweight or obese, experience chronic stress, and frequently eat processed foods, you’re at the greatest risk for experiencing gastritis.
Studies suggest that adults over the age of 60 tend to experience a gradual erosion of the stomach lining, higher rates of infections or autoimmune disorders, and nutrient deficiencies that can all make gastritis symptoms worse. What can you do to help manage your symptoms? Making changes to your diet — including lowering alcohol intake and consuming more fresh produce — plus quitting smoking and exercising can help protect you from gastritis.
The most common gastritis symptoms include:
burning sensations in or above the stomach/abdomen, especially around the time of eating
stomachaches or pains
feeling nauseous or vomiting
loss of appetite, feeling very full quickly and possibly experiencing changes in weight
hiccups and burping
changes in bowel movements and the appearance of stools (poop might be darker than usual and take on a tar-like or bloody color)
How long can you expect gastritis symptoms to last? Gastritis affects everyone differently, with cases ranging from mild and acute to chronic and severe. Some people experience no gastritis symptoms at all, yet a physical exam and testing (such as an endoscopy, stool or blood test) can reveal that they are, in fact, experiencing erosion of the stomach lining and low immune system functioning.
Gastroenterologists normally diagnose gastritis after performing an endoscopy (biopsy of the stomach lining) and observing signs of inflammation — including an increase in white blood cells called leucocytes, reddening, swelling, bleeding or small openings in the surface lining.
Different types of gastritis include:
Chronic gastritis develops gradually and causes long-term complications. Some people experience no noticeable symptoms for many years until other problems develop due to inflammation. Chronic gastritis causes a thinning of gastric mucosa and a gradual increase in inflammatory cells, which can also increase the chances of developing gastric cancer.
Acute gastritis comes on suddenly and lasts for a shorter periods of time — however it might still cause severe symptoms during an active episode. Symptoms might come and go depending on other lifestyle factors that affect the digestive system.
Atrophic gastritis is a form of chronic gastritis that causes a gradual loss of gastric glandular cells, which are replaced with intestinal and fibrous tissues. As the gastric lining changes, the risk for malabsorption/nutrient deficiencies and autoimmune disorder reactions increases. Patients with chronic atrophic gastritis often develop low gastric acid output and hypergastrinemia, which can trigger anemia and tumor growth.
Keep in mind that the gastritis symptoms mentioned above normally appear for several weeks at a time, but if they persist for longer or cause more serious symptoms like excessive blood in your stool, gastritis might not be the cause. Certain symptoms of indigestion can be caused by reactions to prescriptions, over-the-counter painkillers, food allergies/intolerance or other underlying health conditions