Heartburn or pain in the stomach caused by poor digestion , always after eating certain foods or in conjunction with a period when you are not in great shape usually resolves within a day. What do we mean when we talk about gastritis ?
- What is gastritis
- Types of gastritis
- Gastritis, recognize it by the symptoms
Differences between acute gastritis and chronic gastritis
- Symptoms of acute gastritis
- Symptoms of chronic gastritis
- What to eat for gastritis symptoms
- How to relieve the symptoms of gastritis
What is gastritis
Gastritis is an inflammation, with irritation and erosion of the internal mucosa of the stomach , as a result of the excessive production of gastric juices.
It can depend on various causes, including alcohol abuse , chronic or induced vomiting (in the case of eating disorders), excessive use of drugs without gastroprotector (i.e. that do not affect the mucous membrane of the stomach), stress and nervousness.
It can also be due to the presence of a bacterium, Helicobacter pylori , viral infections or be a consequence of other diseases, including pernicious anemia and autoimmune diseases, or biliary tract problems with bile reflux. Artificial respirators can cause irritation and gastritis.
Types of gastritis
There are various classifications of gastritis, from macro distinctions to more specific indications:
- Acute Gastritis : occurs suddenly, violently and resolves quickly
- Chronic gastritis : it develops gradually, it can last a long time, sometimes it accompanies us forever.
Gastritis is divided into erosive and non-erosive :
- Erosive gastritis : caused by alcohol, drugs, anti-inflammatory, bacterial and viral infections, diseases such as Crohn’s disease , presents inflammation and erosion of the gastric mucosa.
- Non-erosive gastritis : usually caused by Helicobacter pylori, it occurs as a form of alteration of the mucosa that can initially be an atrophy and then degenerate into a transformation of the gastric to intestinal tissue and this process is called metaplasia .
On the basis of these macro differentiations , gastritis can be further defined:
- Gastritis of the antral glands : this is a specific inflammation of the inner part of the stomach called the gastric antrum
- Fundic gland gastritis : This is the most common form of gastritis and can be associated with the formation of duodenal ulcers.
- Eosinophilic gastritis : consists of deposits of white blood cells in the digestive tract and gastric wall, with non-specific gastrointestinal disorders.
- Ménétrier’s disease: this is a rare disease that involves a thickening of the gastric wall with the formation of liquid cysts.
Gastritis, recognize it by the symptoms
There may be subtle symptoms , or even not immediately attributable to the gastritis itself, very often different from person to person. They usually appear together, more than one at the same time; while some people with severe gastritis even experience no symptoms.
They can manifest themselves acutely , therefore very strongly and for a short time, or chronic, more subtle. When to worry? If and when symptoms recur several times a month and increase in intensity.
Let ‘s see what are the most common symptoms from which to recognize gastritis:
- Nausea, or recurring stomach pain
- Abdominal pain and swelling
- Frequent indigestion and / or vomiting
- Heartburn between meals or at night
- Loss of appetite
- Black stools
- Back pain: the pain radiates to the back, localized in the dorsal area.
Some symptoms associated with gastritis can also be symptoms of other diseases: it is always better to consult your doctor to have a certain diagnosis of gastritis . Untreated gastritis can cause blood loss and degenerate into more severe conditions.
Differences between acute gastritis and chronic gastritis
Acute gastritis is a momentary ailment linked to extemporaneous factors, such as stress , incorrect diet, use of unprotected anti-inflammatories. It resolves with pharmacological or natural antacids and gastroprotectors.
Chronic gastritis is a sneaky ailment, which has growing symptoms, sometimes appearing to be in remission after administration of proton pump inhibitors and antacids. In reality it is a progressive form that sees the transformation of the gastric villi into intestinal villi with deficit of nutrient absorption and reduced digestive capacity.
Symptoms of acute gastritis
We have said that acute gastritis is characterized by sudden, even very painful episodes that resolve in a short time. The most common symptoms of the acute version are abdominal pain in the epigastric portion, with burning, dyspepsia often after meals with swelling. In some cases, nausea after eating and vomiting can occur , due to semi-digested food.
Symptoms of chronic gastritis
Chronic gastritis can accompany us for a long time . It is manifested by pain in the upper part of the stomach, digestive difficulties with frequent belching , loss of appetite . These symptoms occur gradually over time, making the disorder unrecognizable. Chronic gastritis can lead to the transformation of gastric tissue, with the onset of metaplasia.
The degeneration of the gastric tissue brings with it possible pathologies, even serious ones:
- Megaloblastic anemia with vitamin B12 malabsorption,
- Asthenia: tiredness
- Breathing difficulties (dyspnoea)
- Performative ulcer
- Gastric tumor.
What to eat for gastritis symptoms
Nutrition is the first treatment that must be integrated to relieve the stomach , quell inflammation and reflux, any forms of stomach ache.
First of all, doctors advise to eat little and often , then go ahead for small snacks throughout the day between main meals, because they help to buffer excess acidity.
The main meal should be lunch, while a frugal and light dinner is recommended .
The time dedicated to chewing is important , the food bolus in this way reaches the stomach pre-digested and well synthesized by ptyalin.
The foods recommended in case of gastritis are those with low lipid content , such as white meats, blue fish, unfermented cheeses. Dairy products must be lean , partially skimmed, possibly cooked vegetables , cabbage, nettles, artichokes are functional for digestion.
It is also important to pay attention to food associations : proteins of different kinds should not be consumed in combination, so no to eggs together with legumes, meat or cheese.
Even the type of cooking can make the difference : boil, sauté with a little extra virgin olive oil, while frying , fat sauces based on butter are to be banned .
Attention also to drinks: at room temperature, not cold, avoid carbonated and alcoholic drinks and also nervine drinks containing caffeine must be limited.
How to relieve the symptoms of gastritis
There are remedies for gastritis that can help soothe the symptoms of gastritis, act on reflux and acidity levels. Let’s see some:
- Emblica : also called amla , it is rich in tannins and polyphenols, gallic and ellagic acid. It has an anti-inflammatory, digestive, hepatoprotective action. It is effective in case of dyspepsia, gastritis, ulcer.
- Lentisk : also called Chios mastic is a gum resin rich in triterpenes and has an anti-inflammatory and antibacterial action , it is soothing on the stomach mucosa, and balances the excessively acidic environment. It is therefore indicated in cases of esophagitis, gastritis, heartburn, healing for peptic ulcers and appears to be effective against Helicobacter pylori.