Gastritis is an inflammation of the inner wall of the stomach. It may be acute, with sudden symptoms, or chronic, with a slow but constant development over time. It is often due to the presence of Helicobacter pylori, but may be related to excessive alcohol consumption or prolonged intake of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Symptoms associated with it may be abdominal pain, burning, decreased appetite, feeling of fullness, and sometimes nausea and vomiting.

Professor Silvio Danese, Head of the Centre for Inflammatory Bowel and Chronic Diseases at Humanitas, in a recent interview, gave some advice to those suffering from gastritis.


Foods that can help

Eating yogurt in the morning on an empty stomach can help, because the yogurt contains bacteria that contribute to the protection of the gastric mucosa and in the morning they perform their beneficial action to the best of their ability. In the case of infection with Helicobacter pylori, for which treatment is in progress, yoghurt probiotics improve the symptoms of side effects of drugs.

There is also green light for cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage), garlic and onion, rich in sulphur compounds and polyphenols, allied against Helicobacter pylori. To counteract oxidative stress, berries are responsible for the anti-inflammatory substances, while mushrooms protect the stomach, thanks to the action of some polysaccharides.


Limit coffee and eliminate alcohol

Caffeine can increase acid secretion of the stomach, so it is good not to exceed two cups of coffee a day, always at the end of a meal because ingested foods affect acid secretion.

Avoid alcohol because alcohol damages the gastric mucosa.


Dedication to sport and combating stress

Regular and light physical activity helps to fight gastritis: movement increases intestinal peristalsis and promotes digestion.

Trying to reduce stress levels is important if you suffer from gastritis. The tension in fact increases adrenaline and cortisol in the body that stimulate the sympathetic nervous system inducing it to produce gastric acids.

Finally, it is advisable to eat small but frequent meals, in order to limit the production of gastric juices for digestion, and not smoke. Smoking substances are irritating to the stomach, reduce blood flow, delay healing of injuries, and promote cancer.