The term gastritis is used to denote inflammation associated with mucosal injury of the stomach. When the inflammation involves the entire stomach it is called as Pangastritis. Injury to the gastric mucosa is associated with epithelial cell damage (i.e. cells that line the inner surface of the stomach) and regeneration. However, epithelial cell injury and regeneration are not always accompanied by mucosal inflammation. Heartburn, bloating and constipation are the other symptoms which are more common in gastritis.
The cause of gastritis are various; alcohol abuse, cigarette smoking, use of some oral analgesics (pain killers), certain bacteria named Helicobacter Pylori and stress are identified to be the major culprits. Yet there persists some idiopathic causes too. Stress is found to increase the risk of increased stomach acid production and to slow down the digestion there by leading to Gastritis.
Natural remedies & treatment
If gastritis is the result of any of the above mentioned habits, giving up those habits will be the prime solution. The following will be of added advantage in the recovery from the condition.
Fasting: Careful fasting under supervision of an expert would be highly beneficial. Prinks during fasting like water or anything else, has to be chosen with the expertise of the physician. Number of days has to be decided mutually.
Juice therapy: An alkaline juice in empty stomach is the best remedy for Gastritis. A glass of juice well diluted with water can be taken in the morning and any food should be taken after an hour minimum. Banana pith, carrot, cucumber, bottle gourd, ash gourd, snake gourd, wheat grass, durva grass or punar nava can be used for this purpose.
Enema: Enema with normal water or lukewarm water, about 8 to 10 ozs, is beneficial. It should be resorted on days of constipation and/or twice a week to ensure proper elimination of wastes from the body. The clogged up food track will further aggravate the gastritis by causing fermentation of the wastes resulting in bloating and burping. Hence the accumulated wastes should be first eliminated.
Hip bath/ Mud therapy: The propulsive action of the intestines can be stimulated by cold hip baths. Similar is the effect of local mud application over the abdomen. Either one of these treatments should be taken twice daily or in alternation. The same benefit can also be obtained by the cold abdomen pack when applied for half an hour.
Diet therapy: The following is the diet prescription which has to be followed to reduce the symptoms of gastritis and to relieve constipation.
- Leafy vegetables/ products of whole wheat, unpolished rice, fresh fruits, vegetable salads, tender coconut water, carrot juice and banana shall be consumed regularly till the symptoms subside
- Milk intake in small repeated servings a day shall be tried to pacify the acute condition. There is another approach of totally avoiding milk and milk products and resorting to alkaline bland diet plan.
- Fatty, spicy and heavy meals should be avoided; instead light frequent diets shall be taken.
- The use of citrus fruits, onions, cinnamon, garlic, and cloves should be used with caution as they may upset the stomach and cause heartburn.
- The gas forming vegetables like broccoli, cabbage and tubers like potato, yam and colocasia should also be restricted.
- Fermented foods, foods which has long shelf life like jams, pickles, foods of refined products like bakery items should be avoided completely. (see also : Harmful ingredients, additives in food )
Yoga: Maintaining a healthy weight can often help prevent or reduce the symptoms of gastritis. This can be achieved through regular physical activity or by practicing Yoga. The added benefit of Yoga is its efficacy to reduce the stress level than any other physical activity. The practice of Dhyana (Meditation) and Prananyama will bring about perceptible changes in the stress level when practiced in their original sense. Practice Apan Vayu Mudra.