Monday, January 22, 2018

How to deal with that gastritis

Gastritis is a general term for a group of

Gastritis is a general term for a group of conditions in which the hallmark problem is inflammation of the stomach lining. PHOTO | FILE 

By Dr Priyank Punatar

        If you are not digesting your food properly, air or gas forms in the stomach and intestines.

This can cause abdominal pain, bloating, rumbling, belching and passing gas - and a good deal of embarrassment.

Excessive belching, or passing gas frequently can be tell-tell signs of a more complicated underlying stomach issue that should not be ignored.

With the current lifestyle of binge drinking, high carbohydrate and fat diet, cigarette smoking, popping of strong painkillers, staying hungry for too long due to busy work hours as well as stress, all have a major impact on our health and wellbeing.

One of the most common conditions caused by any of the above factors individually or combined, is gastritis. It can also be caused by bacteria known as Helicobacter Pylori (H. Pylori).

Gastritis is a general term for a group of conditions in which the hallmark problem is inflammation of the stomach lining.

It is sometimes hard to diagnose gastritis as it does not always present with symptoms or any signs.

But most patients with gastritis show features of dull aching pain in the upper abdomen (above the belly button), nausea, vomiting and bloating with reduced appetite.

Gastritis can be cured if not ignored; assuming it is mild indigestion.

But this can be achieved by preventing exposure to triggering factors. Some patients may require medical attention.

If left untreated,gastritis and eventual ulcers can also cause stomach cancer.

I often come across patients with early signs and stages of gastritis. Sometimes, we successfully manage these patients without medications because gastritis is preventable! How?

First and foremost, by practicing good hygiene, such as by washing vegetables, fruits and also washing our hands before and after eating, after using the restrooms.

Similarly, by avoiding drinking huge amounts of alcohol in one sitting, avoiding smoking cigarettes, by not staying hungry for too long, consuming small but frequent meals.

Avoiding stress is also helpful as well as refraining from the unnecessary use of strong painkillers such as diclofenac, ibuprofren, naproxen, aceclofenac,) unless prescribed by the doctor .

Another, wrong habit is having late dinners and jumping into bed right after. This increases your risk of gaining weight and becoming obese, and gastritis too.

I often suggest to my patients that they should keep a minimum of 2 hours gap between their last morsel of dinner and then jum into the bed. This allows time for proper digestion.

The next time you experience excessive belching or frequent farting which is out of your usual, don’t make it a silly laughing incident with your partner, pause for a moment and think about any of the above factors. By that, you can be able to deal with gastritis.