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What is Gastritis?

Gastritis is a mild irritation, inflammation, or infection of the stomach lining. It may be a sudden attack or chronic. The stomach collects swallowed food and liquid. It then grinds it up and passes it as fluid into the duodenum.

Recommended Supplements for Gastritis:

Evaluation of Gastritis

Gastritis is often associated with hyperacidity. A simple home Litmus paper test will help you assess and adjust your acid/alkaline balance.

Genova Labs, aka Great Smokie Labs, offers a variety of simple, home stool tests to investigate the causes of gastritis further. The most comprehensive is the CDSA 2.0. Also available is the CDSA & Parasitology Stool test, Comprehensive Parasitology Stool Test and Bacterial Overgrowth in the Small Intestine Breath Test.

Gastritis and Probiotics

See research on Dr Ohhira's Probiotics OMX - effective for gastritis, no matter what the cause. VSL#3 shows effective results for combatting gastritis as well.

Pure Aloe Vera juice is also very effective in relieving symptoms of gastritis.

Stomach Lining and Gastritis

There are several types of cells lining the stomach. One produces hydrochloric acid and another, pepsin, a digestive hormone. Along with the grinding motion of the stomach, these chemicals break down the food and prepare it for digestion.

Helicobacter Pylori is bacteria that has learned to live in the thick mucous lining of the stomach. Although it doesn't actually infect the underlying tissue, it does result in acute and chronic inflammation. It can occur early in childhood and remain throughout life. The infection can lead to ulcers and, in later life, even to stomach cancer in some people. Fortunately, there are now ways to make the diagnosis and treat this disorder.

Causes of Gastritis

  • Stress
  • Use of drugs such as Aspirin, Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatories (NSAIDs)
  • Excessive production of stomach acid; poor diet, alcohol abuse, too much caffeine
  • Bacterial or viral infection
  • Autoimmune problem

A protective substance in the stomach called prostaglandin may be affected by frequent and prolonged use of NSAIDs and Aspirin which may lead to Gastritis. NSAIDs include pain relievers and other over-the-counter drugs such as Advil, Naprosyn, Motrin and Ibuprofen as well as many prescription arthritis medicines such as Voltaren, Feldene, Lodine and Relafen.

Excessive consumption of alcohol and certain other chemicals can cause inflammation and injury to the stomach, which may result in Gastritis.

Symptoms of Gastritis

The chief symptoms are:
  • chronic upper abdominal cramping and pain,
  • fullness and discomfort,
  • nausea and vomiting,
  • acid regurgitation particularly after meals,
  • diarrhea,
  • loss of appetite,
  • belching and gas,
  • fever and weakness.

Mild hemorrhage of upper digestive tract may occur in some cases.

Severe atrophic gastritis may be accompanied with anemia and pathologic leanness.

Autoimmune Gastritis

The normal immune system fights off infection and keeps the body healthy. In some disorders, the body targets one of its own organs as a foreign protein or infection. It begins to "fight" against it and can severely damage the organ. The stomach lining may be attacked by the immune system which can result in acute and chronic inflammation which can result in a condition called pernicious anemia or autoimmune gastritis.

Hypertrophic Gastritis

At times, the folds in the stomach will become enlarged and swollen along with the inflammation. There is not a great deal known about why this occurs. A variation of this type of gastritis is called Menetrier's disease where the gastric folds become gigantic. With this condition, there is often protein loss into the stomach from these weeping folds.

There are other but rarer types of gastritis such as eosinophilic, phlegmonous (a severe bacterial infection) and granulomatous gastritis.

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