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COPING UP WITH GASTRITIS

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Terms like acidity, gastritis and stomach ache have become such a common phenomenon these days. You may experience it as an uneasiness in stomach, a feeling of fullness, constant belching, acute pain in upper abdomen, nausea and vomiting.

So what exactly is gastritis?

 It is an inflammation of the lining of stomach caused primarily due to infection by  a bacteria called Helicobacter Pylori and prolonged intake of drugs like NSAIDS (pain killers).Numerous other factors like inappropriate eating habits, excess of caffeine and alcohol, stress and autoimmune diseases also contribute towards an irritated stomach.

How to identify the cause of gastritis?

Certain tests done on blood and stool can help identify the cause of gastritis. They can pick up the bacteria in stool and antibodies against them in blood. Stomach biopsy done via endoscopy can also show the presence of H. pylori in gastric mucosa and other changes associated with it.

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How does one get rid of gastritis?

Apart from the usual antacids and proton pump inhibitors that reduce the acid production in stomach (the real cause behind the symptoms), your doctor can also prescribe a course of antibiotics to treat H. pylori infection. But once disturbed, the stomach may take a while to come back to its normal form. So certain things need to be taken care of whenever one falls prey to gastritis. Avoid drinking caffeine , alcohol and carbonate drinks and eating fatty, spicy food.  Try to have light and early dinner. Avoid eating protein rich foods for dinner. Instead of three big meals, try to have frequent smaller meals. Drink lots of water and keep yourself hydrated.  Probiotics help in improving digestion and elimination of the bad bacteria from our system, so should be made an essential  part of our diet. Yoghurt is the simplest probiotic available in every household, so should be consumed regularly.

What is the point of concern?

If not treated in time, chronic gastritis can lead to stomach ulcers, bleeding, anemia, cancer, lymphoma and even death. So do not ignore your symptoms, and consult a clinician today.

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