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Diet for gastritis: see caring for food

Diet for gastritis: see caring for food

One of the most frequent complaints nowadays in doctors' offices is "stomach pain", called by the medical class of epigastric pain or epigastralgia. A "burning" in the stomach or heartburn also accompanies the repertoire of complaints that may indicate a problem in the digestive system.

The initial medical approach aims to better understand whether the symptoms mentioned may actually be due to stomach problems, or whether they can be by changes in other organs involved such as liver or pancreas, which may confuse the more accurate diagnosis. Once the stomach is suspected to be the triggering organ of the symptoms, additional examinations may be requested for diagnostic confirmation, and the attending physician decides whether or not they need them.

Gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining) may be triggered by several causes, such as some of the following:

  • Colonization by bacteria (Helicobacter pylori)
    - Use of long-term medication that affects the gastric mucosa (anti-inflammatories, acetylsalicylic acid)
    - Increased Stomach acid secretion due to stress ("nervous" gastritis)
    - Intolerance (individual) to some gastric mucosal irritant foods.

In addition to the specific medication, there is great importance in the treatments initiated for the patient with gastritis. the food question, and is often decisive in the improvement of the clinical picture.

Caring for food

First, it is important to avoid giving too much intervals large among meals because for some genetically predisposed patients the contact of acidic stomach juice directly with gastric mucosal cells can lead to local irritation and trigger gastritis. This does not happen when the food is in the stomach functioning as a physical barrier between the hydrochloric acid produced by the stomach and its mucosa. Many hours without eating can also worsen heartburn.

Some habits should be stimulated in the patient with gastritis, such as breaking down food into smaller volumes, avoiding "heavy" meals with lots of food, easy chewing and digestion (lighter meals) in temperatures not too high, in order to contribute to the improvement of the clinical picture.

Foods to be avoided

More fatty foods generally require a more intense digestion, requiring a greater production of digestive juice through the stomach which, because it is very acidic, it can worsen gastritis, such as fried foods, fatty meats, butter, chocolate, fatty cheeses (yellow ones), buttery biscuits, croissants and sausages such as bacon, salami, fatty ham, sausages and mortadella. Some seasonings and strong condiments may also bring discomfort to the patient with gastritis, such as peppers, nutmeg, vinegar, mustard, clove and paprika, and should be avoided especially in the initial stages of the treatments. , but not all, refer to worsening gastritis with some more acidic fruits such as citrus: lemon, pineapple, passion fruit, orange, acerola, mandarin and strawberry. At the beginning of the treatments it is prudent to avoid them. Canned foods such as pickles, canned goods, tomatoes and their by-products such as sauces and extracts are also described as poorly tolerated by patients, and their intakes are discouraged from a food point of view.

Caring for liquids

Beverages alcoholic substances cause a direct irritation in the gastric mucosa, besides stimulating the increase of the production of the acidic juice of the stomach, being therefore prohibited its use in the patients with gastritis. Coffee (which contains caffeine) is also described as a food to be discontinued, for the same reasons previously mentioned, although some patients tolerate small amounts.Drinking too much liquid in meals can hinder the proper digestion process due to the dilution of the gastric juice, the maximum volume of 200 ml being allowed not to disrupt the digestive efficiency and to trigger the sensation of "puffing" after the meal. The popular culture of drinking milk to decrease the acidity of the stomach should be avoided because by abruptly decreasing this acidity, the body will then interpret the lack of acidity in the stomach and will produce an exaggerated amount of gastric juice, which is acidic , some time after the intake of milk, returning the "burning" symptom, a phenomenon called rebound effect, further worsening the dyspeptic symptoms.

Other care

Tobacco (cigarette) can stimulate the production of acid hydrochloric acid in the stomach, causing too much local acidity, which can contribute to the onset or worsening of gastritis, and should be formally avoided.

Reduce stress, reserve time for leisure and relaxation, seek supportive psychotherapy for specific cases of anxiety disorders and specific medication help (under medical prescription) in more extreme cases are important attitudes in the search for the treatment of gastritis As for eating habits that may contribute to the improvement of gastritis, it is still a controversial subject in medicine, but certainly the observations of the experiences accumulated in the day-to-day practice of the office allow us to predict some facts, as described below:

Vegetables (cooked) such as cabbage and spinach are aids in controlling excessive heartburn and may be part of everyday choices.

- Melissa teas, lemongrass, espinheira santa, fennel, and camomile can contribute as adjuncts to symptom relief, but never substitute for medical treatments.

Finally, seeking help from doctors and nutritionists is essential for the correct diagnosis of gastritis and its treatment involving also the targeting nutritional status.

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