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Gastritis – is your stomach on fire?

By. Dr. DaSilva

Gastritis is a general term for inflammation of the stomach lining. This condition can often cause dull or burning belly pain, indigestion, bloating, nausea, and vomiting. Gastritis can occur suddenly (acute gastritis) or develop slowly over time (chronic gastritis.) Whether if its acute or chronic it can be very uncomfortable and can become persistent.

To understand how inflammation in the stomach lining occurs it’s important to understand that your stomach is made up of a layer of mucous membrane called the gastric mucosa. The gastric mucosa lines and protects your stomach cells from the acid that’s needed to digest your food. Many things can alter the integrity of your gastric mucosa, if the barrier is compromised your stomach cells become exposed to stomach acid, that is when symptoms occur. If Gastritis becomes persistent this can lead to lifelong inflammation and progression to other stomach conditions such as peptic ulcer disease.

Common Causes for Gastritis

  • Infection – most commonly H. Pylori
  • Regular use of pain relievers such as NSAIDS – aspirin, Advil, Motrin, Aleve.
  • Alcohol
  • Stress
  • Smoking
  • Overuse of supplements – such as iron and potassium
  • Food – spicy foods, food high in fat, chocolate, caffeine
  • Underlying autoimmune disease

Conventionally, treatment for gastritis depends on the cause and often includes a combination of antibiotics for infection and reduction of stomach acid with antacids, histamine blockers and proton pump inhibitors.

How can we help?

Here at Shalva Clinic a typical approach to treating gastritis would include developing a comprehensive treatment plan and monitoring for adjustments as needed. Our goals include:

  • Soothe and heal the stomach with the use of botanical and nutritional supplements
  • Identify and remove underlying triggers. It’s important to rule out whether an underlying infections is present, lifestyle factors, or an associated condition is causing your gastritis symptoms.
  • Eliminate Infection using botanical therapy.
  • Prevent reoccurrences by populating the digestive tract with good bacteria and ensuring proper digestive function with increasing digestive enzyme production.

Treatment is provided by a naturopathic doctor and when appropriate and may include

  • Botanical medicine
  • Acupuncture
  • Homeopathy
  • Dietary counseling
  • Nutritional supplements
  • Naturopathic manipulation
  • Lifestyle counseling and exercise recommendations

Gastritis is a common and generally treatable conditions. Some people may not have any symptoms. The first step is getting tested to determine the cause so appropriate treatment may be initiated. Reach out if you need support getting to the bottom of your digestive concerns.

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