What is gastritis?
It is an inflammation of lining of stomach wall (mucosal membrane). It can be acute (occur suddenly) or chronic (longstanding). In a healthy individual, mucosal membrane in stomach exerts several defense mechanisms to protect the stomach against acid. In gastritis, because of the inflammation, the defense factor of the mucosal membrane goes down, which can further lead to formation of ulcers.
What causes gastritis?
Gastritis is caused due to the irritation to the stomach wall. Irritation can be due to:
- Spicy and oily food
- Certain medications like painkillers, aspirin etc.
- Chronic vomiting
It can also be due to:
- Bacterial infection (H. pylori)
If left untreated, this infection can lead to ulcers
Backflow of bile in the stomach
- Other bacterial or viral infection
Symptoms of gastritis
Many people do not experience any symptoms in mild cases of gastritis. Symptoms may vary from person to person. Some of the commonest symptoms of gastritis are:
- Heaviness in the abdomen
- Loss of appetite
Diagnosis of Gastritis
Your doctor will ask your detailed history in context to your symptoms and the duration of symptoms. You may be asked for blood tests, stool test, or endoscopy (internal examination with a thin tube and a camera attached to it, for examination of stomach lining).
Treatment of gastritis
- Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) (reduce the production of acid)
- For gastritis due to H. pylori- antibiotics may be given
- If gastritis is due to pernicious anemia, Vitamin B12 is given
How to prevent Gastritis?
Main cause of gastritis is oily and spicy food, alcohol and smoking, prevention aims to limit these trigger factors.
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet
- Avoid spicy (chilies in particular) and oily food
- Avoid caffeine and carbonated drinks; and certain fruit juices that contain citric acid, eg., grapefruit, orange, pineapple, etc.
- Avoid alcohol
- Quit smoking
- Certain foods that may stop H. pylori growth and relieve gastritis symptoms are: green tea, peppermint, yogurt, coconut water, carrot juice, apples, fresh fruits and berries, broccoli, soybean, legumes etc.
Herbal therapy in gastritis
Certain herbs such as Amalaki, Yashtimadhu, Usheer, Shatavari etc. are known for their natural antacid and anti-ulcer properties.
You can also take herbal remedy for gastritis- ALSAREX Tablets
ALSAREX Tablets – manufactured by Charak Pharma, is a combination of time tested herbs useful in ulcer. Alsarex contains herbs such as Amalaki, Yashtimadhu, Usheer, Shatavari etc. These herbs have the following properties:
- Amalaki reduces the hypersecretion of acid.
- Yashtimadhu has anti-H.pylori activity, which further improves the results and also prevents recurrence of ulcers.
- Usheer is antispasmodic and Ficus glomerata is gastroprotective
- Shatavari increases mucosal defensive factors.
ALSAREX Tablets not only reduces the acid secretion but also strengthens the mucosal defense.