Gastritis can occur suddenly (acute) or gradually (chronic) over a period of time. Acute gastritis is more common, occurring in eight of every 1,000 people whereas the latter i.e., chronic gastritis occurs in two of every 10,000 people. This is a condition causing an inflammation, irritation or erosion of the stomach mucosa. Gastritis is not one disease but a group of conditions, which are characterized by inflammation of the lining of the stomach. Homeopathy treats Gastritis holistically addressing its multi dimensional causative factors
Understanding Acute & Chronic Gastritis
Acute gastritis is a sudden inflammation of the lining of the stomach. Acute gastritis is a term covering a broad Spectrum of entities which include inflammatory changes in the gastric mucosa. Inflammation of the whole stomach is called PANGASTRITIS and an inflammation of a part of stomach is called ANTRAL GASTRITIS.
Acute gastritis can divided into:
Causes include medications, alcohol, eating or drinking corrosive substances, extreme physiological stress, and infections. Acute gastritis is often associated with a severe, acute illness, or trauma. The risk factors include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug use (NSAIDs), recent heavy alcohol use, and physiological stress such major surgery, head trauma, renal failure, liver failure, or respiratory failure
Chronic gastritis is an inflammation of the lining of the stomach that occurs gradually and persists for a prolonged time. Chronic gastritis may be caused by prolonged irritation from the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), infection with the bacteria Helicobacter pylori, pernicious anemia (an autoimmune disorder), degeneration of the lining of the stomach from age, or chronic bile reflux.
Apart from these two types, there are also several other types of gastritis that include
- Chronic erosive gastritis,
- Chronic non-erosive gastritis,
- Metaplasia, etc.
The types of gastritis are defined as
- Type A gastritis,
- Type B gastritis,
- Type C gastritis.
Causes & Symptoms of Gastritis
Any factor that injures the wall (protective lining) of stomach provokes the symptoms of gastritis. Common causes of Gastritis include:
- Infection: Most commonly Bacterial (Helicobacter Pylori) and occasionally due to Fungal, parasitic or viral infection
- Drugs: NSAIDs, Steroids, Aspirin, etc
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Back flow of bile into the stomach (Bile reflux)
- Excess of spicy foods
Patients suffering from Gastritis display these common symptoms
- A gnawing or burning ache or pain in the upper abdomen that may become either worse or better after eating.
- Loss of appetite.
- Bloating: A feeling of fullness in upper abdomen after eating
- Weight loss.
- Belching: Belching either does not relieve the pain or relieves it only briefly.
- Nausea and vomiting: The vomit may be clear, green or yellow, blood-streaked, or completely bloody, depending on the severity of the stomach inflammation.
- Pallor, sweating, and rapid (or “racing”) heart beat.
- Feeling faint or short of breath
- Chest pain or severe stomach pain
- Vomiting large amounts of blood
- Bloody bowel movements or dark, sticky, very foul-smelling bowel movements
Diagnosis of gastritis
- The symptomatology of the patient is enough to diagnose Gastritis.
- If the pain is severe an Endoscopy should be done which would rule out any ulcer formation.
- A culture of the contents drawn with an endoscope would reveal Helicobacter pylori bacteria if any.
- In any case of Gastritis any other chronic disease or drug abuse should be ruled out which could be-probable causes
- A homeopath does a detailed case taking to not only understand the pathophysiology of the patient but also the constitutional profile to determine vulnerability
Commonly used Homeopathic medicines for treatment of Gastritis with indications
|Arsenic Album 200 (available in Digeinflam Kit)||One of the top homeopathic medicines for gastritis. It works well when there is a burning pain in the stomach due to gastritis. Ingesting even a little food or drink worsens the pain. Taking something warm may bring relief. Other accompanying symptoms are weakness, exhaustion, weight loss, and intense anxiety. Arsenic Album is highly effective in treating gastric and digestive disorders. Arsenicum also relieves feeling anxious and restless which is one of the causative factors in gastric disturbances|
|Argentum Nitricum||Violent belching and great relief from it. Pain is gnawing, ulcerative, referred to the pit of stomach. Vomiting of glairy mucus, which can be drawn into strings.|
|Ornithogalum Umbellat Q (available in Digeinflam Kit)||(also called Star of Bethlehem) is considered in chronic gastric and other abdominal indurations (increase in the fibrous elements in tissue commonly associated with inflammation), possibly cancer of intestinal tract especially of stomach and cecum. Center of action is the pylorus, causing painful contraction with duodenal distention. It is a multipurpose health tonic which is primarily used to improve heart functions and stomach disorders. It can also be used as an excellent source to correct stomach disorders. Tumors of the intestinal tract can also be cured using this medicine. It is extremely helpful in conditions of indigestion and flatulence. Effective in treating gastric ulceration|
|Bryonia alba||Is best adapted to persons of gouty or rheumatic diathesis. Great thirst for large quantities at long intervals. Pressure as from stone at pit of the stomach, relieved by eructation. Stool large, hard, dark, and dry, as if burnt. Diarrhea during a spell of hot weather; bilious, acrid with soreness of anus; like dirty water; of undigested food; from cold drinks when overheated, from fruit or sour foods aggravated in morning, on moving, even a hand or foot and ameliorated by absolute rest.|
|Hydrastis Canadensis Q (available in Digeinflam Kit)||(also called golden seal) treats digestive disorders including stomach pain and swelling (gastritis), peptic ulcers, colitis and intestinal gas. It acts effectively on the mucous membrane producing ropy, yellowish, thick secretion. It soothes an upset stomach & addresses swelling may be there in stomach. It has antibacterial and amoebicidal properties and considered natural antibiotic|
|Belladonna||Abdominal pain in short attacks, causes redness of face and eyes. Abdomen tender, distended; aggravated by least jar. Violent stomachache after a meal. Bilious vomiting.|
|Carbo Vegetabilis||Violent burning in the stomach, with paroxysmal cramps which force the patient to double up; with flatulence. Putrid variety of dyspepsia. Slow digestion; feels as if a weight in the stomach, which is not relieved by eating; but after a few mouthfuls there is a sense of fullness. Eructations are rancid, putrid or sour.|
|China Officinalis||In cases where the food does not digest, but lies a long time in the stomach, causing Eructations and finally is vomited out undigested.|
|Sulphur||Burning in the stomach. Gastritis caused by chronic alcoholism. When carefully selected remedies fail to produce favorable effects, especially in acute diseases, it frequently serves to rouse the reactive powers of the system. Weak, empty, gone or faint feeling in the stomach about 11.a.m. and cannot wait for lunch.|
|Natrum Phosphoricum 6X (available in Digeinflam Kit)||Nat phos is an essential salt for the digestive tract. It neutralizes acids and helps with the assimilation of fats and other nutrients. This salt is well indicated for symptoms of hyper acidity. Sodium phosphate is a constituent of the-blood corpuscles, the muscle, nerve and brain cells, and the tissue fluids. The main target is the gastro-intestinal tract. In addition it has a modifying effect in cases of stone diathesis and arthritic-gouty constitution. Overacidity of all body fluids and all excretions is typical symptom. Hyperacidity, sour eructation, sour vomiting and heartburn. Frequent diarrhoea because of hyperacidity. Hyperacidity, heartburn, fermentative dyspepsia, uric-acid diathesis, arthritis, gout, lithiasic diathesis, chronic gastroenteritis, scrofulosis, cystitis, enuresis nocturne.|
Preventive measures to avoid Gastritis
- Since salt can increase the . irritation of stomach lining the intake of salt should be decreased.
- Spicy or oily food and regular intake of non-vegetarian should be avoided.
- Alcohol, smoking should be avoided.
- Stimulants like tea, coffee and other beverages like colas which contain high percentage of bicarbonates should be reduced more so on empty stomach.
- Food should be taken at regular intervals, delayed should be avoided to the most.
- People with Gastritis should avoid irritants like drugs which can cause chronic inflammation.
- Patients should also try to figure out food allergies which can vary from person to person.
- Last but not the least stress and anxiety should be avoided. If we study our lives we come across situations wherein there are enough episodes of “avoidable stress”.
- Eat meals at regular intervals.
- Avoid going to bed within an hour after a heavy meal.