Stomach inflammation, otherwise known as gastritis, is thought to affect eight in every one-thousand people. It happens when the stomach lining becomes red, swollen, and irritated, usually due to the ingestion of something that doesn’t agree with it.
The symptoms of stomach inflammation include:
- Heartburn, or burning in the upper chest and middle-chest areas
- Hiccupping frequently, which may be painful
- Indigestion, involving abdominal discomfort, bloating, and gassiness
- Persistent nausea, or feeling the urge to be sick
Stomach inflammation can be caused by bacteria, or diet and lifestyle habits, such as consuming too much alcohol, eating spicy foods, taking certain medications, chronic stress, and smoking. You may also have a health condition that leads to gastritis, such as an infection, major surgery, traumatic burns, and other immune system problems.
When inflammation occurs, your stomach lining changes and loses some of its protective cells. This can cause pain and discomfort that generally lasts between two and ten days. If left untreated, chronic gastritis can last weeks, maybe even years.
Luckily, there are many ways that gastritis can be treated both inside and outside of the medical environment. As well as taking prescribed medication from your doctor, you can make your own diet and lifestyle changes to more quickly alleviate your condition and heal your stomach inflammation.
1. Follow an anti-inflammatory diet
As gastritis is caused by inflammation, it makes sense that an inflammatory diet can minimize inflammation and provide relief in the long run. It’s worth keeping a food diary for several weeks so that you can establish which foods trigger your symptoms and eliminate them from your diet one-by-one.
2. Supplement with garlic extract
When gastritis is caused by a specific bacterium called H. pylori, garlic, a broad-spectrum antimicrobial, and antifungal agent can get rid of it, making it a good food for gastritis.
Keep in mind that some people with chronic heartburn don’t react well to garlic. If you’re not sure about including garlic in your own diet, try eating small amounts of garlic first and gradually increase to a larger tolerable amount. You can also supplement with garlic extract capsules if that’s easier.
3. Increase your probiotic intake
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that take over the soft lining of the intestinal tract and work to heal the digestive system. Taking probiotics can improve your gut’s ability to absorb and digest nutrients. If you have chronic gastritis and vitamin B12 deficiency, eating probiotic food sources or taking probiotic supplements with B vitamins can effectively heal your stomach.
Not many foods contain probiotics, but the more popular and accessible choices include organic yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and sourdough bread.
4. Drink green tea with manuka honey
Green tea is another food source that experts think could significantly reduce the amount of H. pylori in the digestive tract, helping to heal inflammation of the stomach. Drinking warm water in itself can soothe the digestive tract and make digestion easier on your stomach. The addition of manuka honey may also be beneficial, as it contains antibacterial properties that help fight infection.
You can buy green tea and manuka honey from supermarkets, health stores, and online. For the best anti-inflammatory effects, make sure to drink a minimum of one cup of caffeine-free green tea with honey every day.
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5. Make realistic long-term changes
If you have chronic gastritis, you’ll need to be prepared to make long-lasting changes to your diet to experience permanent gastritis relief and prevention. It’s not easy to change your diet and lifestyle habits, but the health benefits of doing so will be more than worth it.
Every day, try following a gastritis diet that aims to heal the damage to the stomach lining. Make sure to eat whole foods with plenty of protein, natural fats, and fruits and vegetables, all of which provide your body with the needed nutrients to support healing.
6. Reduce stress
As stress is responsible for gastritis flare-ups, you’ll want to keep a level head in order to manage the condition. Staying stress-free might feel near-impossible, and it’s certainly easier said than done. However, if you actively practice stress-relieving activities, like yoga and meditation, massage, and breathing exercises, you’ll be able to manage your stress more effectively in the long run.
If a situation in your life is resulting in immense stress, think about how you can resolve it, change it, or step away from it for the sake of good health.
Gastritis, whether short-term or chronic, is an unpleasant condition to experience. It can significantly impact your quality of life if it isn’t treated through diet and lifestyle changes.
It’s possible to heal stomach inflammation and cure gastritis by being stricter with your food choices and cutting out the bad habits. Many inflammatory foods are delicious in their own right, so you won’t feel as if you’re restricting yourself with your new diet changes. And when your health changes for the better, it’ll all feel worth it in the end.