Gastritis is a broad definition for an inflammation of the stomach lining. The inflammation could be caused from stomach ulcers, an injury, too much alcohol or pain reliever consumption. Whatever the cause, the pain is often acute or can gradually build up over time. Untreated gastritis can lead to stomach cancer, but with proper diet the inflammation can be treated.
Managing Your Gastritis
It is much easier to prevent the inflammation by paying attention to your diet than trying to resolve it with medication. Gastritis pain is treatable with medication and preventable with proper diet. Controlling the pain through careful monitoring of what foods you eat and when you eat can relieve you from lots of unnecessary discomfort. Even with medication, you need to manage the intake of acid-causing foods that can further damage your stomach. Smaller, more frequent meals along with snacks will help your body adjust to your new diet and keep you from feeling hungry or sick.
Start the Day Right
A healthy breakfast provides the energy you need to fuel your day. However, with gastritis you need to remember that acidic juices like orange, grapefruit, tomato, coffee, tea or milk will initiate the body's overproduction of acid. Try apple, pear or grape juice instead or decaf coffee or teas. Add soft toast, avoiding the high grain, and try a hot cereal like oatmeal, cream of wheat, grits or farina.
This can be the hardest decision to make throughout the day if you are dependent on going out for lunch. Choose leafy vegetables over fries and salad over spicy, salty meat. Choose Asian food with stir fry vegetables and plain rice over spicy foods that contain garlic, onions, pepper, chilli powder or alcoholic drinks. Sodas should also be avoided.
Dinner and Snacks
The lunchtime limitations should be considered at dinner as well. Keep in mind that foods that cause gas like broccoli, cabbage, onions, milk, cooked dried beans and peas will make for an uncomfortable evening. Try to eat earlier in the evening and limit snacks to low sugar or salt foods. Try a savoury or sweet bread instead of ice cream or chocolate for snacks.
In addition to watching what you eat, medication can help ease your gastritis. For mild gastritis, over-the-counter antacids like Maalox or Mylanta will calm the inflammation and neutralise the acid in your stomach. If these don't provide relief you may need an acid blocker prescription like Tagamet, Pepcid or Zantac to block the build-up of acid in your stomach. For severe gastritis, Nexium, Prilosec or Prevacid help inhibit acid being pumped into the stomach.