What is Chronic Gastritis?
Chronic gastritis is a condition that emerges from the inflammation in the lining of the stomach. The inflammation of gastritis mostly occurs due to the infection with the same bacteria, which is linked to stomach ulcers. The excess consumption of pain relievers, stress, immune system disorders, and binge alcohol consumption can also relate to the risk of gastritis.
The stomach lining or mucosa has glands that generate acid in the stomach and other important substances, such as the enzyme pepsin. While the acid in your stomach breaks the food and protects you from infection, pepsin breaks down protein. The acid is so dangerous that it can also damage your stomach. To protect you from this damage, the stomach lining secretes mucus.
Gastritis occurs when there is inflammation in the lining of the stomach. Gastritis may occur promptly (acute) or slowly over time (chronic).
Chronic gastritis occurs when your stomach lining changes and breaks off its protective cells. It may also lead to early satisfaction, which makes you fuller after eating just a few bites of food.
As chronic gastritis may occur for a very long time, it gradually destroys, the stomach lining and causes metaplasia or dysplasia. If untreated, these changes in the cells can lead to cancer also.
Different types of chronic gastritis have different causes:
- Type A: It is caused by the faults in the immune system that tend to destroy stomach cells. It puts you at risk of anaemia, vitamin deficiencies, and cancer.
- Type B: The most common type as triggered by Helicobacter pylori bacteria, exposing you to risk of intestinal ulcer, stomach ulcer, etc.
- Type C: It is triggered by irritants such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), alcohol, or bile. Over time, this can make the stomach lining bleed.
Other types of gastritis may include giant hypertrophic gastritis manifested because of protein deficiencies. Yet another chronic gastritis is eosinophilic, which can occur alongside other allergic conditions like asthma.
People with not so severe gastritis as caused by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori may not always have signs of chronic gastritis.
However, most people with chronic gastritis experience a variety of symptoms, including:
- a burning or nagging feeling in the stomach
- being feeling full after eating a small amount
- nausea and vomiting
- belching or burping
- weight loss
- poor appetite
- abdominal pain or discomfort
Everyone has episodes of indigestion and stomach irritation. Most cases of indigestion come for a very short time span and get better on their own. But if the signs persist for a long time, you shall get consulted. If you are vomiting blood or having blood in the stool, inquire your doctor right away.
A wide spectrum of diseases can elevate your risk of gastritis, such as Crohn’s disease, during which a number of inflammatory cells grow in the body.
Factors that put you at risk of gastritis include:
- Bacterial infection. Helicobacter pylori is the most common infection and only a few people develops gastritis or other gastrointestinal infections because of this. The cause could be either a person having a genetic predisposition to the bacterium or lifestyle choices that lead one to this infection.
- Binge alcohol consumption. Alcohol can irritate or inflame the lining of the stomach, which makes the stomach more vulnerable to digestive juices. Excessive alcohol may cause acute gastritis later in life.
- Use of painkillers. Painkillers we use in our daily lives, such as ibuprofen, naproxen, aspirin, etc., can irritate your stomach. It may result in acute or chronic gastritis. Using these painkillers will reduce mucus that helps preserve the lining of the stomach.
- Older age. Being older can also increase the risk of gastritis as the lining tends to become thin by this time. Also, older adults are likely at risk of infections due to immune system disorders.
- Stress. Though it may cause acute gastritis only, the risk is more if you have had major surgery, burns, or severe infections in the past.
Autoimmune gastritis is more common in people with other autoimmune disorders, including Hashimoto's disease, type 1 diabetes, and vitamin B-12 deficiency.
Other less common causes of gastritis may include HIV/AIDS, Crohn’s disease and parasitic infections.
Ayurvedic treatment for chronic gastritis
In Ayurveda, the symptoms of the disease are classified on the basis of doshas vitiated. The condition is known as Urdhvaga Amla Pitta, triggered by the vitiation of Pitta. This could either be due to improper dietary habits, including excessive consumption of alcohol or smoking.
Aggravated Pitta may also result in impaired digestive fire, leading to the production of Ama or toxins in the cells and tissues. Due to aggravated Pitta, this Ama becomes warm or heating in nature, causing the levels of gases in the stomach to rise.
So, the role of ayurvedic medicines is to bring down the aggravation of Pitta while restoring the digestive fire. To the patients, a Pitta-pacifying diet is suggested to get you the most out of treatment.
As per the Ayurvedic context, the gut and your brain are often interrelated. So, stress may also induce problems in your stomach. Hence, yoga and meditation are also considered a part of ayurvedic treatment.
At AyuKarma, we are dedicated to keeping up with the health of our patients with our unique ideology. Ayurvedic treatment for chronic gastritis is one of the effective ways to reduce the gnawing complications brought in by the poor digestive system.
Let us know if you need any help!