Gastritis is an inflammation of the inner walls of the stomach. It may be severe, with sudden symptoms, or chronic, with a slow but constant development during time. It often depends on the presence of Helicobacter Pylori, but it may also depend on excessive alcohol consumption or on a prolonged intake of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications.
Typical symptoms are:
- Abdominal pains
- Loss of appetite
- Feeling of fullness
In a recent interview, Professor Silvio Danese, Supervisor of the Chronic Inflammatory Bowel Diseases Center at Humanitas, gave us some tips.
Foods that may help
Eating yogurt at breakfast on an empty stomach may help, because yogurt contains bacteria that contribute to the protection of the stomach lining and work best in the morning. If you are being treated for an Helicobacter Pylori infection, yogurt probiotics help you endure the side effects of your medications.
Cruciferous plants (broccoli, cabbages) are also good, as well as garlic and onions. They are rich in sulfur compounds and polyphenols, natural allies against Helicobacter Pylori. You may fight oxidative stress with berries, because they contain anti-inflammatory substances, and mushrooms, due to some polysaccharides they contain.
Limit your Coffee Intake and Avoid Alcoholic Beverages
Caffeine may increase the acid secretion in the stomach. For this reason, you should not drink more than two cups of coffee per day, and always do so after a meal because ingested food affects the acid secretion.
Avoid alcoholic beverages, because alcohol damages the stomach lining.
Exercise Regularly and Avoid Stress
Practicing a light, constant physical activity helps fight the gastritis. In fact, exercising increases bowel movements and favors the digestion.
If you suffer from gastritis, you should try to reduce your stress levels. In fact, stress increases adrenaline and cortisol in the body, and these substances stimulate the sympathetic nervous system in such a way as to induce it to produce gastric acid.
Finally, you should eat small meals many times a day, in order to limit the production of gastric acid, and avoid smoking. Harmful substances in cigarettes irritate the stomach lining, reduce the blood supply (thus delaying the healing of eventual lesions), and favor the development of tumors.