Gastritis is the condition where your stomach lining becomes inflamed, appearing red and swollen. Your stomach lining is strong and is designed to hold up to the acids in your stomach.
Not to be mistaken with gas in the stomach (excessive gas), gastritis is when your stomach lining becomes inflamed and irritated for a number of different reasons. Some acts that cause inflammation can include drinking too much alcohol, damage from pain relievers called NSAIDs, or smoking.
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Inflammation of your stomach lining, or gastritis, can be a result of many different factors irritating the lining of your stomach. Gastritis attacks can have a sudden onset, or they can be chronic with symptoms like long-term loss of appetite or nausea.
Gastritis can be caused by diet or lifestyle choices, including:
Gastritis can also be caused by other health issues, including:
There are a number of risk factors that can lead to gastritis. All of these risk factors irritate the stomach lining in a different way. While some factors can be unavoidable, other risk factors can be managed. Risk factors include:
If you suspect you may be suffering from gastritis, you may notice one or more of the following symptoms.
If you’ve regularly experienced any of the symptoms above, your symptoms get worse, or you begin experiencing new symptoms, contact your doctor to schedule an appointment. If you have blood in your vomit or stool or experience black, tarry stools, call your doctor immediately. Treating gastritis early on will help you tackle symptoms before they worsen and help you live a comfortably, gut-healthy life.
When you see your doctor about your gastritis symptoms, they will first give a physical exam, discuss your symptoms, and talk about your medical history. After this initial examination, your doctor may order tests to look further into your symptoms. These tests may include:
Treatment will be prescribed by your GI doctor, once they have determined the causes, symptoms, and severity of your gastritis. Your prescribed treatment may include:
While there is not a way to completely avoid gastritis, there are plenty of ways to lower your risk of suffering from an inflamed gut. You can lower your risk by:
If you suffer from gastritis, you may notice certain foods may cause an attack or flare up your symptoms. Foods that can potentially irritate your stomach lining include:
While some foods may be irritating for those with gastritis, here are some anti-inflammatory food options:
Is gastritis very serious?
Generally, gastritis is not very serious. It can lead to ulcers and may increase your risk of stomach cancer. However, in most cases, gastritis can easily be treated and isn’t a serious issue.
How do I get gastritis to go away?
You can help treat your gastritis symptoms with acid blockers, also known as H-2 blockers, as they lower the amount of acid released in your digestive tract. The reduced stomach acid can relieve gastritis symptoms and help with healing. Talk to your GI doctor about which H-2 blocker they recommend for you.
Is Pepto Bismol or TUMS good for gastritis?
Pepto Bismol and TUMS are known antacids and are used to neutralize stomach acid. Another great antacid is milk of magnesia. You can use antacids to relieve symptoms, taking a dose every 30 minutes as needed.
Is Oatmeal good for gastritis?
Oatmeal, or other light porridge, is gentle on the stomach and regularly recommended for gastritis patients. Oatmeal is known to be gentle on the gastric mucosa.
Is Yogurt good for gastritis?
Yogurt is a great option, thanks to its antibacterial properties. It can help fight inflammation and contains antioxidants.
Is Broccoli good for gastritis?
Yes, it is! Broccoli contains sulforaphane, which has antibacterial properties and antioxidants.
Does drinking water help gastritis?
Water can help control the level of gastric juices in your stomach, which can encourage healing of your gastritis. Avoid drinking too much water before or after meals because it can be counterproductive to the digestive process.
What drinks help gastritis?
While caffeinated drinks should be avoided, water, herbal tea, non-dairy milk, and low-sugar, low-acid fruit juices are great options. If your gastritis is mild, you can try drinking coffee with non-dairy milk or creamer options.
Can gastritis be caused by stress?
Stress can increase the production of gastric juices, which can irritate your stomach lining. If you notice indigestion or inflammation of your stomach during stressful times and it lingers for a week or more, call your doctor to see if you have gastritis.
How long does gastritis take to heal?
Acute gastritis typically only lasts for a short period of time and can resolve itself. Sometimes, acute gastritis can develop into chronic gastritis with long-term inflammation.
Why won't it go away?
If your symptoms of gastritis do not go away after altering your diet, stress, and lifestyle habits contributing to your symptoms, you might have an infection or damaged gastric mucosa. Talk with your doctor right away, so you can get a diagnosis and treatment to take care of your gut. Charleston GI offers board-certified gastroenterologists who specialize in diagnosing and treating GI tract conditions.
To learn more about treatment for GI tract issues in Charleston, SC, get in touch today! Charleston Gastroenterology is committed to a higher standard of caring – and we provide a range of medical treatments to help you feel your best.
If you are experiencing painful gi tract symptoms, schedule your appointment today! No referral needed.