Gastritis is an inflammation or irritation of the stomach lining. The notable symptoms of gastritis are nausea, abdominal discomfort, bloating, stomach cramps, indigestion, vomiting, loss of appetite, hiccups, and passing black colored stool. Symptoms may develop suddenly (acute) or may occur over a period of time (chronic). Gastritis can be caused due to many reasons, viz. stress, frequent vomiting, bacterial and viral infections, bile reflux, and deficiency of vitamin B12. Majority of acute gastritis cases are caused due to excessive alcohol intake and prolonged use of anti-inflammatory drugs.
Inflammatory condition of the stomach is diagnosed by examining the physical symptoms, and analyzing the medical and family history of the patient. If suspected, the physician may conduct blood test, stool test, upper endoscopy, and other imaging tests for confirmation. Depending upon the diagnostic test results and severity of the case, the doctor will prescribe appropriate treatment options. In addition, the doctor recommends changes in the daily diet plan for effective management of gastritis symptoms. Let's take a look at the diet plan for gastritis patients.
Planning a Gastritis Diet: Things to Consider
Diet for gastritis patients should include easy-to-digest food items. Truly speaking, there is no specific diet plan for people afflicted with gastritis problem. The only consideration is, consuming a well-balanced diet with food items that do not pressurize the digestive tract. It is not necessary to consume small servings frequently, rather one can have regular meals. At times, frequent eating increases the acid secretion in the stomach, thus aggravating gastritis symptoms. So, how to plan a healthy diet for gastritis patients? To get the answer for this, refer to the following points.
Since milk and dairy products trigger the stomach to secrete more acid, there should be maximum three servings of dairy food per day or if possible, reduce it to less than three servings. As we all know, fatty food pressurizes the digestive system and takes longer time for digestion. So, try to eliminate it as much as possible. Also, selecting low-fat food items helps in controlling acid production by the stomach.
It is to be noted that the diet for gastritis should contain an adequate amount of fiber. Contrary to the common belief that fiber worsens stomach discomfort, it is observed that fiber rich food products improve the digestive health and maintain regular bowel movement. However, make sure that the serving amount of such food items is increased gradually.
An effective diet for gastritis patient contains carrot juice, coconut water, low-acid fruit juices, and herbal tea in sufficient amounts. Included in the list of healthy food items for gastritis patients are fresh veggies, fresh fruits, whole grains, pasta, noodles, and tofu. For those who love to have non vegetarian food, incorporate eggs, fish, and lean meat in specific amounts.
There are chances of flatulence (excess gas) after consumption of some fruits and vegetables. They include cabbage, broccoli, dried beans, onions, peas, and fruits with peels. It is always advisable to limit the intake of tomatoes and citrus fruit juices as they can lead to heartburn. A patient of gastritis should be aware of the food that causes stomach problems, and try to avoid them.
Gastritis patients should strictly avoid alcohol and spicy food. Spices like red and black pepper, chili, and chili powder can irritate the stomach lining. Other food items that trigger increase production of stomach acid are caffeine products like cocoa, chocolate, coffee, and tea. Avoid these caffeinated products, if stomach upset increases after consuming them.
In order to retain body fluids and minimize acid secretion, 6 - 8 glasses of water should be taken everyday. The gastritis diet plan, if followed religiously, will help in effective treatment of the discomfort symptoms. For best results, don't delay in getting gastritis treatment. Patients with acute gastritis may recover within a few days, whereas those with chronic gastritis usually take longer time to heal. If gastritis is left untreated for a prolonged duration, there may be severe health complications, such as increased loss of blood and at times, stomach cancer.