Gastritis and Homeopathy
Gastritis is an inflammation, irritation or erosion of the stomach mucosa. Gastritis is not one disease but a group of conditions, which are characterized by inflammation of the lining of the stomach. Gastritis can broadly be divided into acute gastritis and chronic gastritis.
Acute gastritis is a sudden inflammation of the lining of the stomach. Acute gastritis is a term covering a broad Spectrum of entities which include inflammatory changes in the gastric mucosa. Inflammation of the whole stomach is called PANGASTRITIS and an inflammation of a part of stomach is called ANTRAL GASTRITIS.
Acute gastritis can divided into:
Causes include medications, alcohol, eating or drinking corrosive substances, extreme physiological stress, and infections. Acute gastritis is often associated with a severe, acute illness, or trauma. The risk factors include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug use (NSAIDs) recent heavy alcohol use, and physiological stress such major surgery, head trauma, renal failure, liver failure, or respiratory failure.
Chronic gastritis is an inflammation of the lining of the stomach that occurs gradually and persists for a prolonged time. Chronic gastritis may be caused by prolonged irritation from the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), infection with the bacteria Helicobacter pylori, pernicious anemia (an autoimmune disorder), degeneration of the lining of the stomach from age, or chronic bile reflux. Apart from these two types, there are also several other types of gastritis that include:
- Chronic erosivegastritis,
- Chronic non-erosivegastritis,
- Metaplasia, etc
Any factor that injures the wall (protective lining) of stomach provokes the symptoms of gastritis. Common causes of Gastritis include:
- Infection: Most commonly Bacterial (Helicobacter Pylori) and occasionally due to Fungal, parasitic or viral infection
- Drugs: NSAIDs, Steroids, Aspirin, etc
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Backflow of bile into the stomach (Bile reflux)
- Excess of spicy foods
- A gnawing or burning ache or pain in the upper abdomen that may become either worse or better after eating
- Loss of appetite
- Bloating: A feeling of fullness in upper abdomen after eating
- Weight loss
- Belching: Belching either does not relieve the pain or relieves it only briefly
- Nausea and vomiting: The vomit may be clear, green or yellow, blood-streaked, or completely bloody, depending on the severity of the stomach inflammation
- Pallor, sweating, and rapid (or “racing”) heartbeat
- Feeling faint or short of breath
- Chest pain or severe stomach pain
- Vomiting large amounts of blood
- Bloody bowel movements or dark, sticky, very foul-smelling bowel movements
Prevention of gastritis
- Since salt can increase the irritation of stomach lining the intake of salt should be decreased.
- Spicy or oily food and regular intake of non-vegetarian should be avoided
- Alcohol, smoking should be avoided
- Stimulants like tea, coffee and other beverages like colas which contain high percentage of bicarbonates should be reduced more so on empty stomach
- Food should be taken at regular intervals, delayed should be avoided to the most
- People with Gastritis should avoid irritants like drugs which can cause chronic inflammation
- Patients should also try to figure out food allergies which can vary from person to person
- Last but not the least stress and anxiety should be avoided. If we study our lives we come across situations wherein there are enough episodes of “avoidable stress”.
- Eat meals at regular intervals
- Avoid going to bed within an hour after a heavy meal.
Homoeopathic medicines have an effective role to play in the therapy of gastritis.* For proper management consult a qualified homeopath. Self medication is not advisable.