Stomach Ulcers & Gastritis
Are you experiencing abdominal pain or heartburn?
Are you losing your appetite?
Do you have tarry stools?
Have you been diagnosed with anaemia recently?
Our team is ready to help you manage these symptoms…
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then there’s a chance you may have a stomach ulcer or gastritis.
But the good news is that these two conditions are manageable with the proper diet and lifestyle. Our treatment plans include proper nutrition and diet strategies as well as lifestyle modifications so you can maintain a high quality of life even after being diagnosed with any of these two conditions.
What Are Stomach Ulcers and Gastritis?
A stomach ulcer is a painful open sore which appears and develops in the lining of your stomach. Stomach ulcers are a type of peptic ulcer disease which affects both the small intestines and stomach.
Thick mucous protects your stomach from digestive juices. When mucous levels dwindle, these digestive juices attack the tissues along your stomach lining, resulting in stomach ulcer.
Stomach ulcer is curable; however, it can worsen without immediate medical attention. The possible complications include bleeding, perforation (splitting open) of the stomach lining, or gastric obstruction (the ulcer impeding the flow of food through the digestive system).
Gastritis refers to irritation, erosion, or inflammation of the stomach’s protective lining. If left untreated, it can lead to stomach bleeding or ulcers. Some types of gastritis can even cause stomach cancer. Individuals with thin stomach linings are especially susceptible. Acute gastritis is a short-lived condition, but chronic gastritis can last for years without the proper treatment.
What Are the Different Types of Stomach Ulcers and Gastritis?
There are two types of stomach ulcers:
- Gastric ulcer: This type of ulcer appears on your stomach lining.
- Duodenal ulcer: This type of ulcer appears at the top end of your small intestine.
Gastritis is classified into three types:
- Acute gastritis: This involves a sudden and severe inflammation of the protective lining of the stomach.
- Chronic gastritis: This refers to a long-term inflammation of the stomach’s protective lining, which may persist for years.
- Erosive gastritis: This is a rare type of gastritis that may lead to bleeding and ulcers in the stomach lining.
What Are the Signs of Stomach Ulcers and Gastritis?
These are the symptoms of stomach ulcers:
- Burning pain in the centre of the abdomen (pain is more intense when your stomach is empty)
- Burping or acid reflux
- Tarry, black, or bloody stool
- Nausea or vomiting (vomit may have a bloody colour)
- Loss of appetite
It’s important to remember that not all ulcers are painful. However, when you experience severe symptoms such as anaemia (fatigue, weakness, and dizziness) or tarry, black, or bloody stool, you need to call a doctor immediately.
These are the symptoms of gastritis:
- Abdominal discomfort
- Feeling of fullness in abdomen, belching, or bloating
- Pain between navel and lower ribs
- Loss of appetite
- Bloody vomiting and black stool (severe gastritis)
What Are the Causes of Stomach Ulcers and Gastritis?
Stomach ulcers have two main causes. Both of them break down the defence mechanism of your stomach lining which results in the ulcer:
- Helicobacter pylori bacteria: Commonly known as H. pylori, this bacterium weakens the protective mucous of your stomach lining. Experts believe people contract H. pylori through food or water.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): These medicines act as painkillers. Examples include ibuprofen, aspirin, naproxen, and diclofenac. NSAIDs may cause ulcers if taken in high doses for a long period of time.
Smoking increases your chances of developing stomach ulcer, while alcohol, stress, and spicy foods can make it worse.
Coincidentally, H. pylori bacteria and long-term NSAIDs use are also among the causes of gastritis. Other causes include viral infections, irritants (alcohol, cigarette smoke, cocaine, etc.), stress, autoimmune disorders, and digestive disorders.
Are Stomach Ulcers and Gastritis Hereditary?
There is no strong clinical evidence linking stomach ulcers and gastritis to genetic factors.
However, studies indicate ulcers are more prevalent among older individuals who take NSAIDs regularly for their arthritis.
Advanced age may also weaken the digestive system, consequently allowing bile to damage the stomach lining. This helps explain why both stomach ulcers and gastritis are more common among older people.
How Do I Get Treated for Stomach Ulcers and Gastritis?
Treatment for stomach ulcer falls under two categories:
- Non-surgical: Your doctor will prescribe antibiotics and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) such as omeprazole lansoprazole, and esomeprazole. The latter blocks the stomach cells which produce the destructive digestive juices. Your physician may also recommend H2 receptor blockers, follow-up endoscopy, probiotics, bismuth supplement, and stopping NSAIDs use.
- Surgical: Rare cases of stomach ulcers which return, don’t heal, bleed, and impede the flow of food into the small intestine usually require surgery. The surgeon may remove the entire ulcer, patch the stomach lining with tissue from an intestine, or tie a bleeding artery.
Gastritis treatment often involves non-invasive remedies such as PPIs, acid-reducing medicine such as famotidine, antacids, and probiotics.
Eating foods which eliminate the H. pylori bacteria and promote the growth of good bacteria in your digestive tract can lower your chances of developing stomach ulcers and gastritis. These foods include:
- Radishes, cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli
- Kale and spinach
- Sauerkraut, yoghurt, kombucha, and miso
- Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries
- Olive oil
Our Team Can Help You Manage Your Stomach Ulcers and Gastritis
We are the experts who can help you maximise your treatment for your stomach ulcer or gastritis. We will collaborate with you in developing a plan which includes better nutrition and lifestyle choices so you can experience an improvement in your current symptoms, overall health, and quality of life.
We are the authority in the areas of gut and bowel conditions, diet, and nutrition, and we’re confident we can help you manage your stomach ulcer or gastritis successfully.
Call us now at (07) 3071 7405 to book an appointment with any of our qualified nutritionists and dietitians.
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