Gastritis is what happens when there is inflammation, erosion, or irritation along the lining of the stomach. A condition affecting 20%-26% of the Australian population, it is more prevalent in individuals between the ages of 15-50.
While gastritis is caused and triggered by a variety of causes, its effects still remain the same. Patients with this condition often report a burning pain in their stomach or upper abdomen, nausea, vomiting, and feeling full in the upper abdomen, even after small meals.
While these symptoms don’t sound particularly serious, a diagnosis of gastritis must be taken seriously. If left untreated, it can lead to stomach ulcers and bleeding. Chronic gastritis may even lead to stomach cancer, especially if there’s an extensive thinning of the stomach lining and a change in its cells.
This post looks at long-term management strategies and treatments for this condition. Individuals should always consult their doctors before making any drastic lifestyle changes.
Eating small meals several times a day
For those who eat only 2-3 big meals each day and are currently diagnosed with gastritis, this approach may be a factor worsening symptoms of this condition.
This is because indigestion can cause stomach acid to damage the stomach lining, leading to gastric symptoms. By consuming smaller meals, individuals reduce the risk of upsetting their stomachs. It’s also much healthier and has been known to help with weight loss.
Consulting your doctor about medication
Certain pain-killers such as a nonsteroidal anti inflammatory agent, corticosteroid and Aspirin can cause or trigger gastritis.
Limiting alcohol intake
For those who consume alcohol frequently, cutting back is necessary to manage their condition better. Alcohol increases the content of stomach acid, which, again, can irritate or inflame the stomach lining.
Apart from cirrhosis, daily alcohol intake can also lead to other serious gastroenterological conditions including a complete erosion of the stomach lining and heartburn.
Improving daily diet
Unfortunately for those with gastritis, all kinds of fatty, fried, acidic, and spicy food can trigger abdominal pain and discomfort.
Dealing with stress more effectively
Another major trigger for those with gastritis is stress. As such, leading a stressful lifestyle or one that’s more prone to stress is bound to lead to significant pain and discomfort for those suffering from this condition.
Maintaining a healthy weight
A healthy weight is a crucial step towards recovery and treatment management for most gastroenterological conditions.
Those who are overweight run the risk of adding pressure on their stomach, which can alter the way certain organs function. This could lead to symptoms such as pain, belching, bloating and cramps.
Maintaining a healthy weight also requires those with this condition to be mindful of their food intake.
Gastritis can be associated with pain, discomfort, and impaired quality of life if it isn’t managed carefully. Moreover, it also poses increased risk of stomach cancer for certain individuals.
By following the steps highlighted above, it’s possible to minimise most of the symptoms. Patients must consult a specialist before making any changes to their diet or medications, especially if they’ve been diagnosed with another condition.