What are the causes of gastritis?
Inflammation of the stomach lining can be acute, occurring for a short period, or chronic, lasting for months or years. This inflammation causes, in people who suffer from it, pain in the upper part of the belly or stomach, nausea and, sometimes, vomiting. All this translates into a lack of appetite and desire to eat because before each meal, we wonder how I will feel later.
What are the causes of gastritis?
One of the most common causes is infection by a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori, transmitted from person to person. In developed countries, this bacterium could infect 50% of the population. However, only 15% of them develop the disease, which shows that it is highly influenced by genetic or environmental factors (food, smoking, etc. ). In any case, this is not the only cause of gastritis, but there are others, such as:
- Continuously take certain non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin or ibuprofen.
- Consume too much alcohol.
- Autoimmune disorders such as pernicious anaemia.
- High stress or anxiety as it increases gastric acids and causes what is called gastritis Nervosa.
- The abuse of copious, very heavy or spicy foods.
- The tobacco.
- Other viral infections (cytomegalovirus or herpes simplex).
In many cases, the causes or situations that cause gastritis occur together and enhance each other. Therefore, if we have previously suffered from gastritis or currently suffer from it, we must avoid these factors as much as possible to prevent a relapse or prevent this situation from continuing, which can lead to bleeding or an increased possibility of gastric cancer.
General recommendations for gastritis
Suppose you are one of the people who suffer from gastritis. In that case, you should know specific guidelines to follow in your daily life and specific dietary recommendations to facilitate digestion and avoid irritating or exciting foods that promote poor digestion and discomfort. Our offers to help you feel better are:
- Try to eat in fractions about 4-5 times a day.
- Do not eat copious meals as this will make your digestion slow and heavy, making your stomach have to work harder.
- Take your time eating. Eat slowly and chew all foods well.
- Don’t go to sleep right after dinner. Try to eat dinner 2-3 hours before bed and, if you have something later, that is not solid food.
- If you smoke, quit. If you do not see yourself able to seek advice, your situation will improve considerably.
- If you are nervous or suffer from stress, promote relaxing attitudes and therapies (yoga, meditation, relaxing plants).
- Exclude from the diet or reduce the consumption of foods and preparations rich in fat.
- Choose soft preparations (boiled, oven, papillote, etc.) before the rest of the culinary practices that increase the fat content. Be careful with toasted or grilled foods! Since the burned parts are irritating and will very possibly cause you discomfort.
- Avoid foods rich in salt or sugar.
- Do not eat foods at extreme temperatures, very cold or scorching, as this will increase irritation.
- Avoid drinks that stimulate gastric secretion or worsen digestion, such as coffee, tea, alcohol, cola, or carbonated drinks.
- Do not forget to include the consumption of fruits and vegetables that will provide you with antioxidants, B vitamins and fibre in your diet.
- If, in addition to gastritis, you suffer from gastroesophageal reflux or hiatus hernia, you can consult the recommendations by following the link.
What foods should be avoided and which should be included in the diet for gastritis?
Now that we know the general recommendations, we will translate them into the foods we should avoid and those we can include in our diet.
- Avoid high-fat dairy products such as cream, aged cheeses or whole milk.
- Opt for skimmed or semi-skimmed milk, fresh cheese or skimmed yoghurts. If your situation improves, you can moderately take a dairy dessert such as custard or flan.
Vegetables and vegetables :
- Some people may have a poor personal tolerance for flatulent vegetables (artichokes, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, peppers, cucumbers, onions and garlic) or acidic foods such as tomatoes. Sometimes it can also cause discomfort if they are eaten raw. If so, cook them boiled or pureed.
- Avoid underripe fruits and citrus fruits due to their high acidity.
- It is recommended that you consume fruit in the form of ripe fruit, baked or in compote.
Cereals, tubers and legumes :
- Avoid pastries and pastries such as chocolate chip cookies, croissants or buns.
- Rice and potatoes are usually well accepted. On the other hand, legumes are recommended in soft cooking, and if they feel inadequate, they should be passed through the food mill to remove the “skins” that, due to their high fibre content, can cause discomfort.
Fish, meat and eggs :
- Avoid fatty meats such as veal or beef and sausages.
- You can consume white meats such as chicken or turkey, eggs and sausages such as sweet ham, turkey breast and, depending on tolerance, white fish and Serrano ham.
- Avoid, as has been said before, tea, cola drinks, carbonated drinks or coffee, which, even if decaffeinated, increases gastric secretion.
- You can replace these drinks with delicate infusions (fennel, lemon balm, lemon verbena or rosemary) or, consumed in moderation, non-citrus juices. The preferred liquid for consumption will be water, and we can also drink low-fat soft broths.
- Avoid fatty or cream-based sauces, spicy condiments, concentrated flavour cubes, or chocolate. All of them stimulate gastric secretion or hinder digestion.
- It is recommended that for cooking, olive or seed oil be consumed before butter or margarine.
Eight tips to improve the symptoms of gastritis with food
Eight tips to improve the symptoms of gastritis through diet.
- Eat five times a day to reduce the volume of each meal.
- Eat and chew slowly, so your stomach has to work less and digestion is more accessible.
- Avoid large meals, especially those with more fat, such as stews or fried foods. Choose simple cooking such as steam cooking, boiling, oven or papillote. If you cook grilled or grilled, avoid burning or roasting some parts.
- Avoid irritating foods such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, spicy foods, coffee, tea, alcohol or carbonated drinks. And forget about tobacco.
- Increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables, although some, such as cabbage, cauliflower, artichokes or raw vegetables, can be more annoying to digest.
- Have dinner two or three hours before going to bed.
- Consume digestive infusions such as fennel, chamomile, lemon balm…
- Avoid extreme temperatures (both hot and cold) in your meals.
Do not limit your diet due to gastritis more than necessary.
Think that you should follow these recommendations but always consider your tolerances, so do not limit your diet more than necessary. Instead, try to make your diet, within its restrictions, as varied and complete as possible. Also, if you are improving, you should introduce more foods into your diet. If you want personalised recommendations for your situation, do not hesitate to contact Alimmenta, where a dietician-nutritionist will adapt your diet to your needs and advise you to achieve a balanced diet.