Do you know about gastric pain?
Last Saturday, Shalini went out with Dollah for lunch but couldn’t enjoy her meal because of a discomfort in her stomach. Due to work commitments, Shalini frequently has late meals and sometimes skipped meals!
What exactly is gastritis?
Gastrospirillum is a condition where there is inflammation on the stomach lining, and can happen both short term (acute) or long term (chronic).
Gastritis is divided into 3 types:
- Mild gastritis
Swelling (inflammation) of the stomach lining occurs if in contact with food
- Major gastritis
Condition where the stomach lining that is in contact with food is wounded
- Ulcer gastritis
The worst possible condition because of the wounds in the stomach lining and can be detected through a person’s vomit or faeces. It also causes stomach ulcers.
Gastritis is often a direct effect of delaying or skipping meals. Let’s go into the details of gastritis.
Signs that you have gastritis
1. Frequent vomiting
After eating her food, Shalini sometimes throws up in less than 5 minutes.
This occurs because an empty stomach will easily make a person feel nauseated and sick. An empty stomach will also produce excessive wind in your digestive system, causing you to frequently vomit.
Apart from that, it is also caused by disruptions of the stomach lining which becomes increasingly swollen and eroded. Frequent vomiting also commonly occurs in people who have gastritis and even more so in those who delay their meals.
Do you always experience heartburn specifically at night or in the morning?
Heartburn is often related to gastritis. It is a condition where a warm and burning sensation is felt typically in the regions below the throat all the way to the region below the chest bone. This happens when stomach acid rises to the throat or mouth and leave a sour or bitter aftertaste.
People who have gastritis are often advised to have regular but small meals. This helps avoid the accumulation of acid in the stomach because the food will neutralise the stomach acid.
3. Discomfort in the stomach
This situation often occurs due to the reaction in your digestive system. Gastritis will cause your stomach lining to swell when in contact with food. Even after having some food, sometimes the pain of gastritis remains.
Those who experience gastritis have to look deeper into this problem so it does not become even more chronic.
4. Loss of appetite
Yesterday, Shalini stared blankly at the restaurant menu during her dinner with Dollah.
“I have no appetite”
“Or do you wish to eat something?”
Shalini shakes her head.
When there is a drastic decrease in your appetite, it might mean that you are experiencing gastritis. The loss of appetite can slowly disrupt the stomach lining and causes it to thin, erode and swell.
A loss of appetite can also change a person’s diet pattern. The person may delay his or her meals till it is past the meal time. This will worsen the person’s condition because an empty stomach is more prone to gastritis.
5. Black-coloured faeces
This condition only occurs in those with chronic gastritis. They will experience a condition where their faeces will be black in colour like tar. This is an effect of ulcer complication.
Gastric ulcers will swell and grow in the stomach until it penetrates other parts of the body like the liver and pancreas. This chronic stage of gastritis also affects the digestive process and results in black faecal matter.
How To Prevent Gastritis?
Prevention is better than cure - What should you do?
1. Eat on time
“Have you had your breakfast?”
“Don’t forget to have lunch”
“Let’s go out to have dinner”
I never knew Dollah had this much concern for Shalini!
It is important for a person to follow his or her eating schedules to avoid gastritis. You have to follow proper meal times and avoid delaying them. Also, you are advised not to skip meals no matter how serious your commitment is. After all, this is to ensure your health, right?
Eating on time and on schedule will make you more disciplined in matters related to eating. It will benefit your health as you’ll never have an empty stomach. Remember, eat frequently in small quantities.
2. Avoid citrus fruits
Citrus or sourish fruits can worsen your gastric condition, because their acidic nature can make your stomach lining thin.
Although citrus fruits are indeed a good source of Vitamin C, you should really watch out for your intake if you have regular gastric problems.
3. Avoid junk food
Junk food contains a high level of flavouring like MSG.
Not only is it bad for your health but it also disrupts the stomach lining due to high levels of chemicals found in junk food.
Eat according to the food pyramid to ensure that you are always full. Junk food does not make you full at all!
I've also written about food intake and health before, check out these 5 Diet Mistakes You Must Not Make To Eat Healthy In Malaysia!
4. Avoid gassy or alcoholic beverages
People who have gastritis should stay away from gassy and alcoholic drinks. This is because these drinks have chemicals which disrupt the stomach lining. Since those who have gastritis are known to have a sensitive stomach, therefore they are not encouraged to drink these types of beverages
5. Avoid eating excessively spicy food
You should avoid spicy foods if you suffer from gastric pains. They react with your stomach lining and cause swelling. A sensitive stomach will also cause you to experience a burning and painful sensation when eating spicy food. If you avoid spicy food, your stomach will surely feel more comfortable.
If you find any symptoms of gastritis after reading this, do visit a doctor immediately!
Medical treatments for gastritis are known as gastroenterology, which we currently have in Melaka - click here to see more.
If you have any personal experiences relating to gastritis, do comment below!
Juliet’s reminder: If you have any symptoms of gastritis, get treatment as soon as possible although it does not seem to be fatal. The best way to avoid having gastritis is to control your eating schedule and eating habits. Eat frequently and take some snacks to avoid having an empty stomach. Take a lot of probiotics and stay away from activities that worsen gastritis like smoking.