What is Gastritis ?
Gastritis or inflammation of the stomach is a troublesome condition which eventually gives rise to many life-threatening complications, if not treated in time.
Acute gastritis has a number of causes, including:
* chronic ingestion of irritating foods, spicy foods, or alcohol
* drugs, such as aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents (in large doses), cytotoxic agents, caffeine, corticosteroids, antimetabolites, phenylbutazone, and indomethacin
* ingestion of poisons, especially DDT, ammonia, mercury, carbon tetrachloride, and corrosive substances
* endotoxins released from infecting bacteria, such as staphylococci, Escherichia coli, and salmonella.
Acute gastritis also may develop as a complication in acute illnesses, particularly major traumatic injuries, burns, infectious processes, major surgical procedures, and hepatic, renal, or respiratory failure.
Chronic gastritis may be associated with peptic ulcer disease, which causes chronic reflux of pancreatic secretions, bile, and bile acids from the duodenum into the stomach.
Recurring exposure to irritating substances, such as drugs, alcohol, cigarette smoke, and environmental agents, also may lead to chronic gastritis. Chronic gastritis may occur in patients with a history of pernicious anemia, underlying kidney disease, or diabetes mellitus.
Bacterial infection with Helicobacter pylori is a common cause of nonerosive chronic gastritis.
Symptom & Causes of Gastritis
The most frequent cause of an attack of gastritis is a dietary indiscretion, such as overeating OJexcessive intake of alcohol. Infections like influenza, food poisoning, toxins of uraemia and gout, and swallowing of acids and alkalis also give rise to gastritis. Persons having a pittika constitution are more prone to geting the disease than others. Constipation tends to aggravate the condition more than any other disorder.
The chief symptoms are: loss of appetite, sickness or nausea, headache, and giddiness. There is also pain and a general feeling of discomfort in the region of the stomach, sour eructations and frequent vomiting-first of food, and then of bilious matter. There is also tenderness in the upper abdomen which is aggravated after the ingestion of food. If the disease becomes chronic, it may lead to anaemia and, consequently, emaciation.
Medicines & Prescriptions of Gastritis
Since the disease is caused by vitiation of pitta, the best therapy is purgation in the first instance. Preparations of ghee are recommended for treatment of gastritis since it is a substance which counteracts pitta. Sukumara Ghrita is specific and is administered in doses of one to two teaspoonfuls mixed with a cup of milk and given first thing in the morning. It may lead to some impairment of the digestive powers of the patient in the beginning, but he recovers the power of digestion after some days. Amalaki of amla (Emblica officinalis) in a powdered form is also helpful; the standard dose is two teaspoonfuls administered four times a day. Alternatively, Dhatri Lauha (calx of iron mixed with juice of amalaki) should be given in one teaspoonful doses twice daily. In case of persistent constipation in a case of gastritis, Avipittikara Churna should be given in a dose of two teaspoonfuls at bed time.
Home Remedies for Treating Gastritis
The diet should consist of milk with sugar, and a little old rice. Spices and condiments, alcoholic drinks, sour foods, chillies and pungent substances which are likely to aggravate acidity or pitta must be avoided. Other substances recommended are: barley, wheat, rice (at least one year old), cucumber, bitter gourd, green banana, pumpkin, pomegranate, and cow’s milk.
The patient should not undertake strenuous mental or physical work. Anxiety and anger should be avoided. Bedrest is also advised, but the patient must be li(ncouragedto take a walk of about two kilometres early in the morning.
* Avoid alcohol, tobacco, spices, meat, sweet, strong tea/coffee.
* Curds and cottage cheese should be used freely. Too many different foods should not be mixed at the same meal. Meals should be taken at least two hours before going to bed at night.
* After the acute symptoms subside, the patient should adopt an all-fruit diet for the next three days and take juicy fruits such as apples, pears, grapes, grapefruit, oranges, pineapple, peaches, and melons.
* Eat regularly and moderately
* Stop smoking
* Limit or avoid alcohol and caffeine
* If possible avoid drugs that are irritating to your stomach
* Avoid foods that you don’t digest easily.