The stomach is one of the vital organs in the human body. It plays an important role in storing and digesting food. But this vital part is not immune from diseases, including gastritis, which could affect its function.

So what is gastritis? What are its symptoms and causes? In this article, you will learn about everything related to gastritis, and how to treat and prevent it.

What is gastritis?

It is a condition that affects the lining of the stomach which is made up of mucous membrane. This membrane protects your stomach from strong stomach acid that digests food. And when it is exposed to any damage or weakness, it will cause you gastritis.

The inflammation occurs suddenly and is called acute gastritis, and causes erosion and damage to the cells lining the mucous membrane. It can occur gradually and is called chronic gastritis, which causes rupture of the mucous membrane with many symptoms appearing for a long time such as pain and burning in the upper part of the abdomen.

One of the most common bacterial causes of gastritis is a type of bacteria called Helicobacter pylori.

Gastritis Symptoms

Gastritis Symptoms

An infected person may not show noticeable symptoms. But in some cases, the inflammation causes symptoms similar to those of indigestion, which may include:

  • Anorexia
  • Indigestion
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Pain in the upper abdomen
  • Feeling of fullness after eating.
  • Heartburn between meals or at night
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Light bleeding

If the inflammation is severe, it may lead to:

  • Anemia
  • Pain in chest
  • Stools with red or black blood and sticky in texture
  • Severe stomach pain or cramps
  • Vomiting with red or black blood that looks like coffee grounds
  • Shortness of breath or dizziness
  • Fast heartbeat

Contact your doctor if you have the above symptoms or anemia and it persists.

Who May Get Gastritis

The risk of developing gastritis increases with age more than in younger people.

As older people have thinner stomach linings, making it less able to protect the stomach from gastric acid damage. In addition, they have slower circulation and less mucus response, which means it can’t fully do its job of protecting the stomach lining.

They are more likely to develop H. pylori infection or autoimmune disorders than younger people.

Also, elderly people usually take more medications that can cause inflammation, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). This increases the risk of stomach infection.

Gastritis Causes

Gastritis Causes

There are several types of gastritis, and each type has its own causes, for example:

Acute Gastritis

It is a form of erosive inflammation. It is characterized by the presence of ulcers on the stomach membrane. It is superficial and does not penetrate the muscular layer of the membrane, causing severe pain that usually lasts for short periods in each shift.

Among its reasons:

  • Excessive alcohol intake
  • Mental pressure and stress
  • Stomach irritating medications including certain types of pain relievers (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as: aspirin or ibuprofen).

Less common causes include:

  • Radiation exposure
  • Viral infection.
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Vascular injury

And a 2012 study has found that using a respirator for more than 48 hours increases the risk of acute gastritis.

Chronic Nonerosive Gastritis

The most common cause of chronic non-erosive gastritis is H. pylori, which can cause infection from person to person through contact with the vomit, feces, or saliva of an infected person, It may be transmitted from food or water contaminated with the bacteria.

Autoimmune Gastritis

It occurs when the immune system attacks healthy stomach lining cells. This leads to damage the stomach cells and the erosion of the protective barrier of your stomach. It may be associated with vitamin B-12 deficiency.

Other Causes

There are secondary or uncommon causes, including:

  • Reflux of bile
  • Smoking
  • Celiac Disease
  • Chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
  • Eosinophilia
  • Food allergy
  • Diseases that cause inflammation in the digestive system, such as Crohn’s disease, Sarcoidosis
  • Stomach tissue damage during placement of the nasogastric tube
  • Stomach surgery
  • A traumatic injury or severe burn that affects blood flow to the stomach..
  • Continuous use of painkillers, as it reduces the essential substance that maintains the protective lining of the stomach.

Gastritis Diagnosis

To diagnose gastritis, your doctor will conduct tests and ask about your medical history. The following checks are required:

  • X-ray examination: the upper part of the digestive system, which includes the esophagus, stomach, and small intestine, is examined. After the patient has ingested the barium liquid, it can be seen clearly on x-rays.
  • Upper Endoscopy: A thin tube with a light and camera is used. The doctor places it in the mouth and then into the esophagus and stomach to see the internal parts of these organs. A small biobsy of tissue may also be taken if needed.
  • Blood tests: This analysis includes checking the level of hemoglobin in the blood, the lack of red blood cell, and H.pylori.
  • Stool tests: A stool sample is sent to a laboratory to check for the presence of H. pylori or blood in the stool. And it is evidence of gastritis in the event of bleeding.
  • Breath test: The breath is tested in a bag and then the breath is analyzed for the presence of H. pylori. This test depends on the ability of stomach bacteria to secrete ammonia gas. And when eating a certain substance that contains radioactive carbon, it can determine the presence of bacteria by measuring the levels of radioactive carbon in the breath.

Gastritis Treatment

Gastritis Medication

Gastritis treatment depends on the underlying cause of the condition. If the cause is a particular medication or substance that causes inflammation, symptoms may resolve by discontinuing its use.

You must consult your doctor to determine the cause and appropriate treatment.


In the case of H. pylori bacteria, the doctor prescribes a group of antibiotics to eliminate them, such as:

  • Amoxil, Trimox
  • Clarithromycin, Biaxin
  • Metronidazole, Flagyl
  • Tetracycline, Achromycin V, Sumycin

Make sure you take the full course of antibiotics prescribed. It usually takes 7 to 14 days, along with drugs to prevent acid secretion. After the end of the treatment, the doctor makes sure that the bacteria are completely eliminated.

Proton Pump Inhibitors

The principle of these drugs is based on inhibiting the secretion of stomach acid, such as:

  • Omeprazole (Prilosec)
  • Lansoprazole (Prevacid)
  • Esomeprazole (Nexium)
  • Dexlansoprazole (Dexilant)
  • Rabeprazole (Aciphex)

Histamine (H2) Blockers

Histamine blockers reduce the amount of acid produced by the stomach. They can be used as an alternative treatment to proton pump inhibitors, including:

  • Nizatidine (Axid)
  • Cimetidine (Tagamet)
  • Famotidine (Pepcid)


Antacids are one of the safe, cheap and fast-acting drugs to treat acidity temporarily. The most common antacids are:

  • Aluminum Hydroxide
  • Calcium Carbonate
  • Magnesium Hydroxide
  • Magnesium Carbonate

Antacids treat gastritis, as the lack of acidity gives the tissues the opportunity to heal, It can be taken with or after eating, and it is preferable to take it before bed.

The doctor may prescribe an antacid in the prescription, as it helps relieve pain quickly. However, one of its side effects is constipation or diarrhea, depending on the main ingredients.

These medicines help relieve symptoms. However, their effect is not as long-lasting as the proton pump inhibitors, which have more efficacy and fewer side effects.

Gastritis Herbal Treatment

Gastritis Herbal Treatment

There are many herbs that some people use, including:

  • Dill

Dill helps relieve stomach pain and improve appetite. It also helps in digestion and relieves bloating and gas.

  • Elm

These herbs are available in the form of tea or capsules. It contains a special substance called Mucilage. It is a type of liquid soluble fiber that improves bowel movement.

  • Garlic

Garlic is a food that contains natural anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial compounds, especially H.pylori bacteria. It helps to improve the immune system because it contains antioxidants.

  • Thyme

Thyme is a natural antibiotic for its ability to deal with bacteria and fungi. It contributes to the treatment of digestive problems such as gas and diarrhea.

It contains a compound called Carvacrol, which increases the concentration of the hormone serotonin and dopamine, which work to improve the mood and psychological resulting from the symptoms of gastritis.

  • Marshmallow

Marshmallow acts as a sedative. It can be used to treat irritated mucous membranes, It is used whether it is roots or in the form of pills or powder.

It stimulates blood circulation, improving the functioning of the digestive system, And get rid of constipation.

  • Turmeric

Turmeric is a spice that consists of a mixture of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and flavonoids. Which makes it a great tonic for gastritis.

Drinks to Treat Gastritis

Gastritis is accompanied by abdominal pain and nausea, in addition to indigestion. So, many resort to drinks that help calm the pain, including:

  • Mint

Among its benefits for the stomach is that it helps digestion. You can put a drop of peppermint oil with meals. As it reduces nausea and vomiting, It works to improve symptoms of colon irritation such as bloating, stomach pain, and diarrhea.

Peppermint or peppermint oil contains a menthol compound that relaxes the muscles of the gastrointestinal tract and can be taken in the form of capsules.

  • Green tea with manuka honey

Green tea helps treat stomach problems and colitis. In addition to the common use in weight loss.

It contains high levels of antioxidants, which contribute to strengthening the immune system.

Manuka honey prevents the growth of harmful bacteria in the intestines and treats any digestive problems. It is also very useful in treating esophageal acid reflux. It helps treat constipation and facilitate digestion.

  • Ginger

Ginger is used to relieve stomach pain for its ability to relax and calm the stomach muscles. In addition, it is anti-inflammatory.

Ginger drink can be taken by soaking part of the ginger root in hot water. Or take nutritional supplements containing it.

  • Chamomile

Chamomile has anti-inflammatory properties. It also relaxes stomach muscles and reduces spasms and stomach pain.

  • Fennel

Fennel is one of the best drinks for stomach pain, especially in the case of constipation, diarrhoea, or gas and flatulence.

  • Rosemary

Rosemary has antioxidant properties. It contains many oils that relieve cramps, bloating, and indigestion that accompanies gastritis.

Foods to Treat Gastritis

If you have gastritis, it is important to follow a healthy diet that eliminates foods that irritate the stomach, and helps control symptoms and speed recovery. The diet may be followed for a few weeks or it may be a long-term plan.

The diet includes the following foods:

  • High-fiber foods such as fruits and vegetables.
  • Healthy proteins such as fish, chicken and white meat.
  • Foods that contain probiotics and improve digestion like yogurt, kefir (Indian mushroom milk), sauerkraut kimchi, and kombucha.
  • Foods that contain anti-inflammatory properties, such as berries.
  • Coconut water, as it maintains proper fluid balance, and it is an alternative to sugary drinks.
  • Leafy vegetables rich in vitamins and minerals such as spinach, cabbage, and broccoli.
  • Onions and garlic help reduce inflammation.
  • Carrots contain beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A.
  • Foods that contain soybeans.
  • Legumes such as beans, peas, and lentils.
  • Eggs or egg whites (boiled).
  • Fruits that are low in sugar and low in acid, such as: Apple, strawberry and pumpkin.
  • Low-fat and low-salt cheese.
  • Seafood and shellfish.
  • Whole grain bread and pasta.
  • Oats and barley.
  • Celery.
  • Rice.
  • Parsley.

What Foods are Prohibited for Gastritis?

What Foods are Prohibited for Gastritis?

Foods that irritate the stomach lining should be avoided, such as:

  • Spicy foods like hot peppers and black pepper.
  • Sugars and foods with high processed sugars.
  • Acidic foods like lemons, oranges, and grapefruit.
  • Caffeinated beverages such as coffee, soda and tea.
  • Processed and canned foods.
  • Energy Drinks.
  • Red meat like duck and geese.
  • Pasta made from refined flour.
  • Pastries and baked goods.
  • Creamy sauces and mayonnaise.
  • Spices such as mustard seeds, and nutmeg.
  • Chocolate.
  • Corn and products made from it.
  • Fatty foods.
  • Salted nuts.
  • Tomato sauce.
  • Alcohol.

So if you have a sore stomach, it is recommended that you see your doctor or a nutritionist for nutritional advice according to your health conditions.

If you are pregnant and breastfeeding, you will have increased needs at these times. So talk to a dietitian to get enough calories and nutrients in your diet.

Changing your diet can be difficult, but not stressful. Planning and preparing meals in advance can help you stay on track. You can also keep a stock of healthy recipes in the freezer; To heat it directly instead of ordering takeaway.

If you find it difficult to stick to the diet, or feel deprived of foods you should not eat, talk to your doctor or nutritionist to find solutions that are suitable for your health.

Gastritis Complications

If gastritis left untreated, inflammation can lead to diseases and health problems such as:

  • Anemia: H. pylori can cause stomach ulcers. This leads to a decrease in the number of red blood cells.
  • Pernicious anemia: Autoimmune gastritis affects how your body absorbs vitamin B12. Thus, when you are deficient, you are more likely to develop pernicious anemia.
  • Peritonitis: Inflammation in the stomach can aggravate stomach ulcers, causing an occurrence of ulcers in the stomach wall.
  • Stomach cancer: Gastritis caused by H. pylori and autoimmune diseases can cause growths in the lining of the stomach, increasing the risk of stomach cancer.

When Should You Contact the Doctor?

You should contact your doctor if any of the following symptoms appear:

  • Previous symptoms return frequently.
  • Feeling very tired and weak.
  • Uncontrolled gastroesophageal reflux (GERD).
  • Unexplained weight loss.
  • Presence of blood in the stool.
  • Diarrhea persists for more than a few days.
  • Fever higher than 39°C.

Gastritis Prevention

Inflammation can be prevented by following some preventive measures, including:

  1. Avoid eating fatty, fried, and spicy foods.
  2. Stay away from alcohol, and reduce caffeine intake.
  3. Eat small meals throughout the day rather than large meals over long periods of time.
  4. Get rid of stress and tension, so that the problem does not worsen and lead to Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
  5. Maintain a healthy weight and avoid obesity. Excess weight increases stomach pressure and causes irritation.
  6. Avoid eating at least 2 to 3 hours before bedtime, to avoid acidity and a sense of bloating.
  7. Talk to your doctor about long-term use of painkillers and how effective they are.

Questions Should Be Asked to the Doctor

If you have gastritis, you may want to ask your doctor several questions, including:

  • Why did I get gastritis?
  • Should I get tested for H. pylori?
  • Should an anemia test be done?
  • May I get gastritis again?
  • What steps can be taken to avoid getting gastritis again?
  • Should my diet be modified?
  • What medications or supplements should I avoid?
  • Do I need to stop drinking soft drinks?
  • Should I be looking for signs of complications?

Finally dear, after you got to know the most important information about gastritis, and methods of prevention and treatment, dealing with this problem has become more conscious and enlightened.

You must always remember that your health is the highest priority. So if you have symptoms of gastritis, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor, and follow his directions carefully. Don’t give in to the pain, but seek medical help and support from loved ones to overcome this problem.

Frequently Asked Questions about Gastritis

How long does it take to recover from gastritis?

The duration of inflammation is determined by its type. If acute, it lasts 2-10 days and can improve quickly with symptomatic treatment.
But if it is chronic, it can last for weeks or even years, so it is important to treat it so that it does not lead to complications.

What fruits are helpful for gastritis?

Here is a variety of wonderful fruits to treat GERD and stomach disorders, including: Bananas, watermelons, apples, pears, and coconut.

Does the psychological condition cause stomach pain?

Yes. The psychological state can cause stomach pain, Mind and body work together in an integrated manner. And when the psychological state is bad and the person is tense, the nervous system can be affected and increase acid secretion in the stomach and cramps in the intestinal muscles, hence the feeling of stomach pain, nausea, etc.

Does water treat gastritis?

Water is important for the health of the stomach, and helps moisturize its wall and relieve symptoms associated with gastritis. It cannot treat inflammation but can be used as part of an overall treatment. It is important to ensure that you drink enough water during the day. It is recommended to eat 8-10 cups per day.

Why does my stomach not digest food?

If you have gastritis, it can be difficult to digest food, due to nerve or muscle problems, as digestion involves a series of events. And if any defect occurs in it, it causes the stomach to empty more slowly than usual, causing nausea, bloating, and a feeling of fullness quickly after eating a small amount of food.






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