How to Overcome Gastritis

Published: 01st December 2008
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Gastritis is not a disease on its own but a symptom of abnormal digestion. Gastritis can be due to a number of causes including excessive alcohol consumption, prolonged use of non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, also known as NSAIDs, such as aspirin or ibuprofen, or bacterial infection. Commonly, the bacterium that causes the inflammation of gastritis is the same as that which causes most stomach ulcers. Sometimes gastritis can develop after major surgery, burns, traumatic injury.
Symptoms of gastritis include abdominal discomfort, pain, bloating or gas, irritation, headache, general malaise, nausea and sometimes vomiting. Aside the use of medications, there are ways to combat gastritis by selective food inclusions or eliminations.

What is Gastritis
Gastritis is more common with age and most sufferers complain of indigestion. Other people have no noticeable symptoms, which can be dangerous if gastritis is caused by erosion of the stomach lining with bleeding-normally a result of aspirin or other medication. Usually, people with acute gastritis caused by illness or injury have already been hospitalized for treatment of their underlying condition; therefore, symptoms of gastritis are managed in the course of their intensive care.
Chronic inflammation can occur with long- term use of certain medications (such as aspirin and arthritis drugs), gastrointestinal disorders like Crohn's disease, alcoholism, or viral infections. It has recently been discovered that many cases of gastritis are caused by a bacterium, Helicobacter pylon. This organism has also been linked to peptic ulcers and is the only germ currently known to be able to survive in the acidic environment of the human stomach.

Causes of Gastritis
First, it's necessary to understand how the stomach works. The stomach is a hollow sac that rests in the upper left corner of your abdomen, right beneath the rib cage. For an adult, the stomach is usually about 10 inches in length and, when stretched to its normal limit, can hold approximately a gallon of material, liquid or food. When it's empty, it collapses on itself, sort of like an empty balloon.
As you know, the stomach is where food and liquid are broken down before being released into the small intestine. Food travels to your stomach via the esophagus, being permitted into the stomach by a sphincter muscle that relaxes to let it in, then closes again once the food and liquid has passed through. Immediately upon getting a new shipment of food, your stomach starts breaking it down with acids and enzymes. One of these acids is called hydrochloric acid and is extraordinarily corrosive. Your stomach has a special lining that is designed to withstand the acids necessary for digestion.
Gastritis is what happens when something causes your stomach lining to be compromised, allowing the caustic acids to damage the stomach. A lot of different things can cause this to happen.

Diagnosing Gastritis
Self-diagnosing Gastritis is pretty impossible. Take a look at the common symptoms: nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, heartburn, belching, and bloating. All of these are symptoms of many other ailments, too, from serious illnesses to mild inconveniences. You may think you have gastritis when in fact you just have simple heartburn that can be alleviated with a Rolaids tablet.
So in order to know whether gastritis is truly what ails you, it is necessary to see a doctor and have him or her perform tests to arrive at a definitive diagnosis. There are a few different tests your doctor might run, or he or she might run some combination of them.
First is the upper gastrointestinal endoscopy. This sounds much more complicated than it is. The doctor simply takes an endoscope -- which is a very skinny tube with a miniature camera affixed to it -- inserts it down your throat and into your stomach. A monitor similar to a TV will show what the camera is seeing down there, and the doctor will investigate the condition of the stomach lining to see whether it has been damaged. It's not particularly comfortable to have a tube down your throat, but it's not painful or traumatic for most patients and they numb your throat first. The doctor might also take a small piece of tissue from your stomach lining to run tests on it, a process known as a biopsy.
- Asparagus (Asparagus racemosa) Asparagus is known to be an antispasmodic. It reduces the fire in the stomach. The root of the asparagus is effective in reducing the hyperacidity of the digestive system.
- Bitter Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) The tea of the bitter chamomile is effective in allaying the gastritis that is caused due to tensions and worries.

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