Gastritis Post 1: My story with gastritis

I’ve had gastritis for more than 12 years now, and it’s finally healing. I find it hard to believe that I’ve gotten better, but it’s true. And I’d like to share with you how I’ve managed to do that.

I’ve tried multiple treatments and remedies, without success. Now I’ve finally found something that works, and I’d like to share that with you.

Having gastritis became normal to me. I was used to eating small portions of food 5-6 times a day. I would have a meal, feel alright for about two hours, and then double over with pain. I could barely wait for my next meal which gave me a brief relief until two hours later I was in pain again.

This made it difficult to lead a normal life. I carried food everywhere and felt weird for having to eat at very (very!) specific times. Eating a meal 15 minutes later than planned was a problem. 30 minutes later was impossible. 1 hour later was unthinkable.

I got irritable if I had to wait for a meal, perhaps understandably because I was in pain. The people around me were stressed out when planning meals with me because they knew I might get upset if a meal began 15 minutes later than expected.

I was also stressed out because: 1) I was afraid I might be in pain, 2) I was afraid other people were getting annoyed with me, and 3) because I was afraid of gaining weight. You might not see how 3) is related to having gastritis, so let me explain.

Since I was eating 5-6 times a day and I saw other girls eating much less, I was afraid I was eating too much. Thus, I tried to make these meals small. I thought that since I will need to eat in 3 hours anyway, I should eat a little bit because otherwise I’ll end up eating a lot during the course of a day.

I was told that small, frequent meals would help my gastritis heal.

Image source: Mind over Munch

Also, if I had to wait for a meal and I was in pain, people said, “Well, why don’t you just have a snack now?” What people didn’t understand is that I wanted to minimize the amount of food I was eating. An extra snack here 30 minutes before dinner was too much food according to my thinking. So I’d try to wait until dinner instead of having a snack. This made me extra irritable because of the pain and in the end if it hurt too much, I’d have a snack anyway. This led me to be even more annoyed with myself since now I was also eating more than I had planned.

Living this way is not pleasant. I experienced a constant fear of hunger and tried to incessantly plan when I would eat what. This helped when I was able to follow my plan, but it led to stress when circumstances made it impossible to follow my plan exactly.

During my 12 years of having gastritis, I tried multiple medications and remedies. I went to several doctors and followed their prescriptions. I also consulted homeopaths, naturopaths, and grandmas who have me home remedies. I read a lot online and tried different things. Some of the suggestions I received helped briefly but didn’t lead to actual improvements. Others genuinely made my condition worse.

Now I’ve finally found something that works. I have been doing this for about a year now, and I am over the moon with joy that I am finally healing my gastritis! I have been able to return to regular eating habits and to be less scared of being hungry. I eat 3 meals a day and a small snack. I can manage if a meal happens 30 minutes or 1 hour later than planned. I can barely believe it! I actually get hungry now instead of just being in pain. This may sound silly but it feels so good to feel normal again.

I’d like to go over my whole journey with you: I’ll tell you how I got gastritis and how it affected my life. Then I’ll tell you what I tried but didn’t see improvements and why you shouldn’t try this. I’ll go on to tell you what actually works! I’ll also discuss the things I tried that didn’t work for me but might work for you. Finally, I’ll also discuss the unique role of stress in this whole thing.

Image source for featured image: ltkcdn.net

5 thoughts on “Gastritis Post 1: My story with gastritis

  1. Pingback: Gastritis Post 2: How I got gastritis – A Good Life

    1. Hi Adel, thanks for reading! First of all, I’d like to say that I’m not a medical professional, so please consult your medical provider about weaning off Nexium. I can share what worked for me, but things may be different for you, so please don’t take my words as the absolute truth. When I decided to wean off Nexium, I’d been taking it for 2 years, 2 tablets a day (one in the morning and one in the evening). When I decided to start weaning off, I was already eating a low inflammatory (paleo) diet and avoiding foods (e.g., spicy and acidic foods as well as alcohol) that exacerbated my gastritis symptoms. I was also taking L-glutamine (one scoop in water) 3x a day, which helped so much with my gastritis symptoms. Instead of 2 pills a day of Nexium, I went down to 1 pill a day (in the morning) and stayed there for 2 weeks or so. Since my symptoms remained stable (I had little pain), I then went down to one pill every other day and stayed there for another 2 weeks. I then stopped taking Nexium and continued having little pain and stayed quite stable. I continued taking L-glutamine for a year or so until my gut lining was much more repaired. I still take it sometimes for a few days when I have a gastritis flare, but nowadays it’s much less common. I hope this helps, but, once again, please consult your medical provider for advice specific to you.
      About stress, yes, that’s a big piece. I don’t think we can often control stress, but we can *manage* it. We can always have a few tricks up our sleeve (a 15-minute walk, a 5-minute meditation, a fun song we dance to) that we use when stress hits. Or playing with our pet or child – that really helps for me!

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      1. Adel

        Hi Marisha, our journey of getting gastritis was pretty the same.. diet, stress, over exercise.. i am currently on dexilant for a year which i wish to stop but i know it will be a difficult to because before this i’ve tried to stop once but failed.. anyway, i am grateful that I’ve found your blog for which I can refer for my diet.. yea, i am currently on protein, fiber and low carb diet.. now i try to manage my stress by hiking and jogging.. about the wean off, no worries, i will only stop on my doctor’s advice.. I bought L glutamine long time ago, and still considering if I should try it again now.. anyway, thanks for your reply and have speedy and healthy recovery.. Lesson of life is indeed eat healthy and never skip meals when in stress.. enough sleep is important too..

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      2. I couldn’t agree more with what you said! Sounds like you’re doing all the important things. Good luck, I hope you notice some improvements soon! And keep me posted, I’d be curious to hear about your journey 🙂

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