Gastritis is a condition that affects a person's stomach lining, causing it to become inflamed. Some cases of gastritis can be treated at home with simple remedies.
There are many factors that can cause a gastritis flare-up. These include:
- excessive alcohol consumption
- using pain medication for an extended period
- Helicobacter pylori (H.pylori) bacteria
While there are instances where medical treatment is necessary to treat gastritis, many people find they can manage the symptoms at home.
Not all remedies will work for everyone, so a person may need to try several of these before finding what works best for their case.
1. Follow an anti-inflammatory diet
Gastritis refers to inflammation of the stomach lining, so consuming a diet that helps to minimize inflammation may provide relief over time. However, research has not conclusively shown that eating a certain diet causes or prevents gastritis.
By keeping a food diary, people can identify which foods trigger their symptoms. They can then begin to reduce their intake or avoid certain foods altogether.
Foods that commonly contribute to inflammation are:
- processed foods
- acidic foods
- dairy products
- sugary foods
- spicy foods
2. Take a garlic extract supplement
Some research suggests that garlic extract can help reduce the symptoms of gastritis. Crushing raw garlic and eating it can also work well.
If a person does not like the taste of raw garlic, they can try chopping the garlic and eating it with a spoonful of peanut butter or wrapped in a dried date. The sweetness of the peanut butter or date will help mask the garlic flavor.
3. Try probiotics
Probiotics can help improve digestion and encourage regular bowel movements. Probiotic supplements introduce good bacteria into a person's digestive tract, which may help stop the spread of H. pylori.
Eating foods that contain probiotics may also improve the symptoms of gastritis. These foods include:
4. Drink green tea with manuka honey
One study showed that drinking green or black tea at least once a week could significantly reduce the prevalence of H. pylori in the digestive tract.
Manuka honey may also be beneficial, as it contains antibacterial properties that help fight infection.
Some people believe drinking warm water alone can soothe the stomach and aid digestion.
Manuka honey is available to buy in health stores and online.
5. Use essential oils
Essential oils, such as lemongrass and lemon verbena, were found to help increase resistance to H. pylori in laboratory tests.
Other oils that can have a positive effect on the digestive system include peppermint, ginger, and clove.
Essential oils should not be ingested and should always be diluted with a carrier oil if applied to the skin.
People may wish to use the oils in a diffuser or consult a doctor on how to use them safely to help relieve gastritis.
It is important to note that the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) do not regulate essential oils or alternative medicine.
6. Eat lighter meals
Eating large, carbohydrate-heavy meals can put a strain on a person's digestive system and aggravate gastritis.
Eating small meals regularly over the course of the day can help ease the digestive process and reduce the symptoms of gastritis.
7. Avoid smoking and overuse of painkillers
Smoking can damage a person's stomach lining and also increases a person's risk of developing stomach cancer.
Taking too many over-the-counter pain medications, such as aspirin or ibuprofen, can also damage the stomach lining and make gastritis worse.
8. Reduce stress
Stress can cause gastritis flare-ups, so reducing stress levels is an important way to help manage the condition.
Stress management techniques include:
- breathing exercises
Although unpleasant, gastritis is not usually thought of as a serious condition.
Symptoms of gastritis include:
- a gnawing or burning sensation in the stomach
- feeling full after eating only a small amount
While the cause of gastritis varies among individuals, there are some steps people can take to avoid bothersome symptoms.
Steps to prevent gastritis include:
- avoiding known trigger foods
- quitting smoking
- managing and reducing stress
- avoiding alcohol
- maintaining a healthy weight
- avoiding abuse of over-the-counter pain medications
Home remedies can help many people manage gastritis. However, if symptoms do not go away, it is essential to speak to a doctor.
People with gastritis should see a doctor if they experience:
- a gastritis flare-up that lasts more than a week
- vomiting blood
- blood in the stool
A doctor will ask questions, perform an examination, and may wish to carry out certain tests.
Common medications prescribed for gastritis include:
- Histamine 2 (H2) blockers, which help decrease acid production. Both prescription and over-the-counter varieties are available
- Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), which also work to reduce acid production and are available both over the counter and on prescription
- Antibiotics, which are used to treat H. pylori infections