Erosive Gastritis is a type of gastro-intestinal disorder that affects the stomach's lining. In this condition the patient's mucosa or stomach's lining gets swollen or inflamed. As the muscles weaken, it facilitates the digestive juices to damage and cause inflammation. In some cases the symptoms may not be visible and the condition can manifest and become acute. Gastritis affects many people and this condition can get acute as a person ages.
If left untreated, erosive gastritis can lead to other health complications. It can also cause bleeding in the stomach leading to ulcers. This can lead to cancer in some patients, especially those who have a thin stomach lining. It is recommended that a person who shows persistent symptoms of gastritis for more than a week should immediately consult a doctor. It is important that symptoms are not overlooked, especially for those who have a family history.
What are the Causes for Erosive Gastritis?
There are many causes for Erosive Gastritis. Some of them are categorized as common causes while some of the causes are not too common. Viral infection, radiation, digestive disorder like Crohn's disease and vascular injury are some of the less common causes for gastritis. Some of the common causes of erosive gastritis are given below -
- Stress: When the body suffers from severe stress due to injury or infection, the chances of getting erosive gastritis increases.
- Alcohol: Consuming high amounts of alcohol increases the chances of gastritis. Regularly drinking alcohol can irritate and erode the stomach's lining leading to gastritis.
- Medications: Taking certain medicines like pain relievers can increase the chances of Erosive Gastritis. Those who take such medicines excessively can get stomach problems as the medicine contains substances that can damage the muscles protecting the stomach's lining.
- Bacteria: Infections by the Helicobacter pylori bacteria is one of the common causes of Erosive Gastritis. Those infected by the bacteria may not show symptoms but it can weaken and damage the stomach's lining. Smokers and those suffering from high levels of stress are vulnerable to the bacteria.
Symptoms of Erosive Gastritis: How to know if you have Erosive Gastritis?
A patient suffering from a mild form of Erosive Gastritis often does not exhibit any of the typical symptoms. However, some patients do show symptoms such as nausea and indigestion. Those suffering from a severe case of erosive gastritis can show extreme symptoms like vomiting blood and passing black stool. The symptoms for this condition are not easy to identify and they cause severe uneasiness and unpleasantness to the patient. Some of the typical symptoms associated with this condition include:
- Changes in stool color
- Loss of appetite
- Unexplained weight loss
- Feeling stuffed after eating
- Burning sensation in the stomach.
How is Erosive Gastritis Diagnosed?
The whole process of diagnosis starts with the physician evaluating the different symptoms that the patient shows. Patients are recommended to discuss everything with the doctor, including family history to help diagnose the condition properly. A physical exam by the doctor helps in locating the exact spot in the abdomen where the pain is. The doctor will need to perform tests on blood, stool and breath checks to find if a person is suffering from Erosive Gastritis. The tests will determine the presence of bacteria, if any.
In some patients the doctor may require to conduct a small biopsy, through endoscopy. Other testing methods like X-ray of the stomach and ultrasound to check the stomach's lining can also be done. Selecting the type of tests will depend on the severity of the patient's symptoms. Identifying the cause is very important. When the condition is diagnosed the doctors start the treatment process that can include both medication and changes in diet.
Treatment of Erosive Gastritis
The process of treating Erosive Gastritis depends on many factors, including the overall condition of the patient's health. It will also depend on the cause, for which the patient is suffering from this condition. Patients suffering from Erosive Gastritis are required to make changes in their lifestyle and diet to help them recover quickly. Treating Erosive Gastritis in time is very important, so that it does not become severe. Antacids can provide temporary relief. Doctors recommend other medicines to reduce the amount of acids when antacids no longer work.
Chronic cases of erosive gastritis are treated with antibiotics and other medications that help in relieving pressure on the stomach's lining. If the cause of gastritis is bacteria, the doctor will put the patient on a dose of anti-bacterial medicine to reduce the infection. For critically ill patients, doctors can recommend specific medications to protect the inner lining of the stomach. Critically ill patients who develop gastritis need to continue treatment of the underlying condition to recover fully.
Home Remedies for Complete and Quick Recovery from Erosive Gastritis
There are simple home remedies that can easily help a person in taking care of Erosive Gastritis. Along with taking medicines, home remedies are an effective and safe way of treating the condition and recovering from it sooner. Some of the home remedies for erosive gastritis are given here –
- Drinking six to eight glasses of water cleanses the system and helps in better digestion.
- Intake of Vitamin E helps in decreasing stomach inflammation.
- Coconut water is filled with vitamins and minerals that soothe the digestive system and is an effective home remedy for erosive gastritis.
- Fennel aids in relaxing the muscles of the digestive tract. Chewing fennel seeds and taking it as juice soothes the stomach.
- Yoghurt contains probiotics that speeds up the digestion process. It also helps in forming a protective layer in the stomach's lining preventing it from any damage and hence can be an effective home remedy for erosive gastritis.
- Include papaya and pineapple in diet as they are great for digestion.
- Carrom seed or Ajwain is a natural antacid and an effective home remedy for erosive gastritis as it helps in relaxing the stomach and reducing acidity.
- Including vegetable juice in daily diet is helpful for gastritis. For best results include green leaves and seasonal vegetables while making the juice.
- Add food that are rich a rich source of vitamin B12 and iron in your diet.
- Physical fitness is important to have good heath, so doing daily exercise or simple brisk walking are great to keep the body fit and in shape.
Diet for Erosive Gastritis
Changing one's diet is an important part of successfully treating Erosive Gastritis. Consulting a dietician or nutritionist is a good move as they can direct patients about specific changes required in their diet. Removing dairy products from the daily diet when suffering from gastritis helps the stomach in settling down. Those who take alcohol must totally cut down or drastically reduce the amount they drink. Junk food must be avoided and replaced by foods that are easy on the stomach.
Instead of eating big meals, one must eat smaller meals at regular intervals. This helps in reducing the load to the stomach. Dinner should be taken at least two hours before sleep. If possible, doing brisk walk after dinner is good as it helps in digesting food better. Fasting on a liquid diet has been found to be very effective in treating gastritis. To get the best results, it is suggested to take juice of fresh organic fruits. For those suffering from gastritis, it is best to avoid sour food and pickles. Some other foods that must be avoided include – meat and meat based products, tobacco, coffee, cake, pastries and other oily food. Foods like tea (green and white tea), yoghurt, coconut water, carrot juice, green leafy vegetables, garlics, apples, fresh fruits and different berries, broccoli, kale, soybeans and legumes helps in stopping the growth of the H. pylori bacteria.
Although, erosive gastritis can be managed easily with simple medications, diet changes and physical exercises that helps in improving digestion capacities, if left untreated it can be fatal. One must seek immediate medical attention if any of the symptoms are observed for few days with making any further delay.