A practical guide for nutritional and traditional health care.
Many types of inflammations and irritations of the inner mucous lining, the mucosa, of the stomach are classified under a broad and over reaching term medically called gastritis. A variety of factors and conditions can bring about or cause this disorder; that can also cause the formation of an ulcer in the stomach in some cases. Therefore a lot of the treatment methodologies such as lifestyle changes, dietary supplements like herbs and different nutrients utilized in the treatment of people with ulceration of the gastric region, commonly manifested as a peptic ulcer are also effective in treating the symptoms and consequences of gastritis.
One of the typical causative agents of the bacterial infections is the bacterium called Helicobacter pylori, this particular organism also induces the formation of peptic ulcers. Therefore the treatment for gastritis suggested by many researchers has tended to include substances like bismuth and certain antibiotics that help eradicate and control H. pylori populations in the body.
There are different reasons and causes for the onset of the condition, which includes the consumption of alcohol, the accidental ingestion of different types of poisonous substances and toxins. Furthermore, the continual and unrestrained use of certain medications like aspirin or steroid compounds may also induce the condition. Stress may be physically induced by the flu-bringing on gastritis, physical causes can include major surgery, the occurrence of severe burns, and injuries which might also increase the likelihood of the condition. While gastritis in many cases can be brought on in people by an allergic reaction to medication or an allergic response to some other allergen; and in some cases due to food poisoning. In the case of the elderly and the aged atrophic gastritis can set in, this being a type of gastritis where cells in the stomach are progressively destroyed, pernicious anemia may be the end result of this destruction.
The irritation of the stomach can be induced and aggravated to a serious state through the utilization of many types of drugs and medications, examples are aspirin and related class of medications. Without a prior consultation with the doctor, it is not advisable for individuals having a history of gastritis to use aspirin or aspirin-like medications.
The restoration of the stomach to its previous state and in the healing of the condition is a priority, and since certain substances like caffeine an abundant alkaloid found in coffee ( this includes decaffeinated coffee), black and green tea, a variety of common foodstuffs and drinks such as chocolate, beverages such as commonly available soft drinks and some drugs increase the acidity in the stomach. The avoidance of such foodstuffs should be a priority during treatment to boost the chances of complete recovery in minimum time.
Supplements and herbs
The level of free radicals in the lining of the stomach rises, whenever the gastritis has been brought on by the agency of the bacterium. Gastric damage and inflammation of the stomach lining are some of the adverse effects that these free radicals bring to the disorder. The level's of antioxidants like vitamin C, which helps squelch the wayward radicals, is depleted in the gastric juices of patients who are affected by gastritis. These levels appreciably rose when in a test people who had gastritis consumed the vitamin C two times a day at dosages of 500 mg per dose. The good effect's this vitamin may have does not have nay direst evidence or supporting basis.
The damage induced by free radicals in the stomach may also be alleviated through the action of the antioxidant compound called beta-carotene, at least some research suggest this viewpoint but it is known that there is a definite decrease in the risk of developing chronic or atrophic cases of gastritis when eating foods high in beta-carotene. In addition low levels of beta-carotene have been found in the stomachs of afflicted individuals. Gastric erosions levels were found to be substantially reduced and disappeared in a preliminary research done in Russia, where dosages of 30,000 IU beta-carotene per day was administered to people with ulcers or gastritis. In most cases of chronic atrophic gastritis in people a combination of vitamin C and beta-carotene often led to a great deal of improvement in the situation.
Gastritis in many patients may also be helped by several amino acids given as supplements. The results of a scientific study, where dosages of cysteine at 200 mg's was administered, 4 times a day to fifty-six people, who had bleeding gastritis brought on by the use of some NSAIDs- non steroidal anti-inflammatory medication, like aspirin, looks promising as a potential treatment option. The recovery from and healing of the damage brought by gastritis may be possible through cysteine which is an essential amino acid that is rich in sulfur. Preliminary results from another study showed that 1 to 4 grams a derivative of N-acetyl cysteine if administered to individuals with the atrophic form of gastritis for a period of 4 weeks seemed to increase the rate of healing and recovery. The gastric cellular structure and the cells themselves depend partly on glutamine as a major source of energy; its other property may be an ability to increase the flow of blood to the area. The results of supplementing the diet of burn victims with the amino acid glutamine, showed that the development of stress ulcers was reduced, even after repeated operations and so this amino acid hold some promise as a possible treatment option. To what extent glutamine supplementation in cases of gastritis acts in preventing or in aiding the existing conditions of the disease remains unclear and is a largely speculative option. The protection of the stomach and an increased blood flow in the stomach has been suggested in evidence from preliminary research done on the possible utilization of the amino acid L-arginine as a treatment option; however the effects arginine has on people with gastritis remains to be investigated.
People with peptic ulcers have typically been helped by supplements of the minerals like zinc, which is an essential mineral, and with vitamin A, since these nutrients help in the recovery process. In studies of people with ulcers, zinc at 200-mg dosages given thrice a day increased the rate of healing when compared with those people who were given a placebo in the test. Taking it for its other benefits and its potential benefit in these cases may nevertheless be a good idea, even though scientific tests do not indicate that specific help that zinc provides gastritis patients, at least not yet. In the study the amounts of zinc supplemented were very high when it is compared to the dosage that most people are given, roughly about 15 to 40 mg a day. Since zinc can have an effect on the levels of another mineral copper within the body, it becomes essential to consume copper at least at one to three mg's daily to make good for this loss.
Very high amounts of vitamin B12 are needed as a supplement in people who have developed pernicious anemia because of the effects of atrophic gastritis.
For gastritis patients, many of the same herbs that are used in the treatment of peptic ulcers can be used and will be helpful. Injury and inflammation of a gastric nature has traditionally been treated using licorice root, an herb used to soothe inflammation. H. pylori growth and its multiplication may also be retarded and stopped by this herb. The use of deglycyrrhizinated licorice or more commonly (DGL) is preferred by many physicians to preclude the possibility of side effects sneaking in, these may include a blood pressure increase and a gain in water weight. Some problems may arise in certain types of people from the glycyrrhizin in the root and this form of the licorice has none.
For the specific treatment of the infections in arising in the mucous membranes, the goldenseal herb is used, it is also a noted herbal antibiotic, and is utilized in this role. It is believed and there are indications that the active ingredient called berberine in the herb may slow down the growth of the H.pylori microorganism, however it has to be mentioned that as of now, no conclusive and specific research exist to suggest goldenseal as a treatment option for gastritis.
Inflamed and injured mucous membranes can also be soothed and eased using the herb chamomile, which has high levels of the bioflavonoid called apigenin. There are some positive and potential advantages to the utilization of this herb for treating gastritis. As some research has pointed out apigenin has an inhibitory action on H. pylori, and that chamazulene, which is also an active ingredient in chamomile, plays a role in the reduction of the activity of free radicals.
The marshmallow and slippery elm abound in mucilage and are used for their demulcent properties. The mucilage present in these herbs may attain the easing and soothing of the irritated digestive tract and their use may be beneficial to people suffering from gastritis. For things like the settling in of a mild inflammation in the mucosa, of the gastric region, marshmallow can be used.
Other beneficial herbs
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