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What is Gastritis?
Gastritis (dyspepsia) is an inflammation of the stomach lining and can lead to painful and uncomfortable symptoms. Gastritis can be chronic or acute. Two out of every 10,000 people suffer from chronic gastritis, but acute gastritis is more common, occurring in eight out of every 1,000 people.  Inflammation of the stomach lining can occur for several reasons, but most often is the result of a bacterial infection that causes ulcers in the stomach. You may experience ulcers if there are weaknesses or injuries to the mucus-lined membrane that protects the stomach. These weak spots allow the corrosive digestive juices to damage the lining of the stomach, creating ulcers.
Symptoms of gastritis can vary from person to person and do not always cause symptoms. Most commonly, signs of gastritis can include:
- A feeling of fullness in the upper abdomen after eating
- Burning ache or pain (heartburn) that is worse or better after eating
For most people, this condition is not as serious as other intestinal problems and typically remedies itself with time. You may be at risk for gastritis if you are older, excessively use alcohol, regularly use pain relievers, suffer from bacterial infections, or are under constant stress. If gastritis is more severe, you may require the use of Motilium (domperidone) to lessen nausea and vomiting symptoms. Medications may work for severe symptoms, but there are several things you can do at home to improve your gastritis.  Read on to learn more about tips on how to manage gastritis.
Eat Anti-Inflammatory Foods
The goal of gastritis treatment is to avoid irritating the stomach lining as much as possible. Consuming foods that help minimize inflammation can help the stomach lining heal itself. Dietitians recommend keeping a food diary to keep track of how certain foods react with your body. You can identify your food triggers and learn to avoid certain foods.  Anti-Inflammatory foods can include:
- Olive oil
- Nuts (almonds, walnuts)
- Fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines)
- Green, leafy vegetables (spinach, kale, collard greens)
- Fruits (blueberries, cherries, oranges, strawberries)
Many doctors recommend a “Mediterranean diet,” which typically involves a diet high in vegetables, nuts, grains, fish, and healthy oils. These foods have lots of natural antioxidants and polyphenols, which are protective compounds found in plants. It is also beneficial to avoid foods that are known to irritate the bowels. These foods are typically high in fat, which is more difficult for the stomach to digest. Those with gastritis may want to avoid:
- Refined carbohydrates (white bread and pastries)
- Red and processed meats (burgers, steaks, hot dogs, sausage)
- Margarine (shortening and lard)
- Soda and other sweetened beverages
- Spicy foods
- Dairy products
- Acidic foods 
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that benefit your digestive system. Probiotics are healthy bacteria that can balance “good” and “bad” bacteria in the body. Probiotics can be found in several foods, like yogurt. The two most common types of probiotics include:
Lactobacillus: This most common type is found in yogurt and fermented foods. Strains of lactobacillus can help with diarrhea and help those who have trouble digesting lactose products.
Bifidobacterium: This type is typically used in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Bifidobacterium can also be found in dairy products and used to treat other stomach conditions. 
There is no recommended daily intake amount for probiotics, but consuming certain foods can help with stomach inflammation. Fermented foods are typically a safe bet for a daily dose of probiotics. Some common fermented foods include:
- Tempeh (a soy product, like tofu)
- Sourdough bread
- Kefir 
Some dieticians suggest consuming certain teas to reduce gut inflammation. One study showed that drinking black or green tea once a week can reduce H. pylori in the intestines.  H. pylori (helicobacter pylori) is a bacterium that can settle in the intestines. If too much H. pylori get in the digestive tract, then bacterial infections can occur.
Green tea possesses polyphenols and flavonoids, which can protect the mucosal lining of the stomach. These compounds block the enzymes that break down the lining of the stomach. It is also recommended to drink green or black tea with a touch of manuka honey. Manuka honey contains certain antibacterial properties that may also help fight infections. 
Stress-induced gastritis does not necessarily inflame the stomach lining but can cause symptoms like heartburn, burning sensations, and uncomfortable feelings of fullness. People may get this type of gastritis if they are experiencing emotional issues, stress, anxiety, and nervousness. Antacids can prevent this type of stomach problem, but it is essential to get your stress under control. 
If you feel like your stress is getting out of hand, talk to your doctor about stress management techniques. If your stress is left untreated, you may experience ulcers in the upper gastrointestinal tract. The following activities may help reduce side effects of stress-induced gastritis:
- Breathing exercises
- Meditation 
Avoid Smoking and Drinking
Excessive drinking and smoking are not beneficial to anyone long-term, but they are especially dangerous to those with gastritis. Many people don’t associate smoking with gastritis, but there are several toxins in cigarettes that can negatively impact the stomach. Nicotine and the thousands of other chemicals in cigarettes can increase hydrochloric acid production in the stomach, which can trigger gastritis. Smoking can be a direct cause of stomach, pancreatic, and esophageal cancer. 
Alcoholic gastritis is common in those who have long-term alcohol use issues. Over time, alcohol can eat away at the stomach lining and cause symptoms of gastritis. In severe cases, alcoholic gastritis can cause abdominal pain and vomiting. If this condition is left untreated, it can cause ulcers and stomach bleeding. Luckily, the state of the digestive tract typically improves once a person stops drinking alcohol. 
The content in this article is intended for informational purposes only. This website does not provide medical advice. In all circumstances, you should always seek the advice of your physician and/or other qualified health professionals(s) for drug, medical condition, or treatment advice. The content provided on this website is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.