Gastritis Post 8: Main Message

So, what should you do if you have gastritis? Here is what worked for me:

  • Eat foods that do not cause a sugar peak and dip.

I’ve found that the insulin response is critical in the amount of pain I experience with gastritis: if I’m having a sugar dip, then I also get a lot of pain in my stomach and my gastritis gets irritated. For this reason, I make sure I eat plenty of protein, enough fat, lots of vegetables, and not many carbohydrates. I only have sweet stuff as a treat once in a while because that helps my blood sugar levels stay stable. For more details about what foods to eat, read this blog post.

  • Avoid foods that irritate the stomach.

This plays a big part in letting the stomach heal. Each person will experience different foods as irritating, but for me some of the big ones are: alcohol, coffee, spicy foods, fried foods, and some raw vegetables such as lettuce. For a full list of foods to avoid, read this blog post.

  • Avoid taking acid-suppressing medications in the long term.

While medications that suppress stomach acid production can help someone with acute gastritis, they are not a solution if the condition is chronic because a) they don’t treat the condition and help the stomach heal and b) they have side effects that can be dangerous in the long term. To read about my experience with acid-suppressing medications, read this blog post.

  • Help the stomach lining heal by taking some supplements

Turmeric has fantastic anti-inflammatory properties and it really helps reduce the inflammation of the gut lining in the case of gastritis. Also, L-glutamine helps tissues rebuild themselves, so it helps the stomach lining heal. For more specific tips about how to take these supplements, read this blog post.

  • Try to reduce and manage stress

Stress contributes in major ways to numerous digestive problems including gastritis. Therefore, as difficult as it might be, it is worth it to try to reduce and manage stress in your life. For more ideas about how to do this, read this blog post.

And that’s it! Good luck and let me know how these tips work for you… I’d be curious to hear! Are there any other approaches that have worked for you?

Here are links to some of the main resources that have informed my search for answers throughout my journey with gastritis:

Robb Wolf: Lots of information about the way of eating I describe (a paleo-inspired diet) and about lifestyle in general.

Dr Brooke Kalanick: Building on that, lots of information about our hormonal system and the important role hormones play in our health.

Girls Gone Strong: Lots of information about healthy movement, our relationship to food, and self-confidence and appreciation.

Source of featured image: Real Estate Dynamics

10 thoughts on “Gastritis Post 8: Main Message

  1. Rose

    Hi Marisha,

    What a journey you had with your gastritis!
    Well done on the fight and the perseverance.
    I myself have gastritis for around 5 years now, and I wanted to ask you while you were fighting gastrtitis have you ever experienced pins and needles in palms and feet?
    My GP and gastroenterologist thinks these symptoms are not connected with gastritis, but I know my body and the signal it sends.
    I am slightly anemic (my iron is okay) but the doctor said I need to be severely anemic to experience tinglings or pins and needles in extremities.
    Tnx a lot
    Take care
    Rose

    Like

    1. Hi Rose,
      I’m sorry to hear you’re dealing with gastritis and hope that you will feel better soon!
      I have not experienced pins and needles in my palms and feet, sorry…
      A functional medicine doctor I follow says that she pays attention as soon as somebody is slightly anemic and fixes it right away; she says it’s quite severe by the time people are actually diagnosed with anemia. You can find her website here: https://betterbydrbrooke.com/
      I wish you all the best with your health journey! 🙂

      All the best,
      Marisha

      Like

  2. Christine

    Dear marisha

    I cannot tell you what reading this blog has done for me finally another real person going through the same nightmare … refreshing and encouraging to say the least. Been suffering for a long time with acid reflux. Didn’t really take it serious avoided spice and alcohol and drank gavisgon by the bottle. Looking back I would get the odd day of terrible what I know now gastritis upper abdo pain nausea and general u well feeling did t really know what it was.

    Was at work 3 weeks ago I work in the hospital and the pain was so intense my tummy extremely bloated I could barely walk. Took myself down to a&e. They said gastritis they treated me for h pylori even though they didn’t test. Since then I am trying to be in control. Monitoring everything no caffeine soft drinks fried ect ect. I’m now on lansoperosole which is helping somewhat. I am realising this is a life changing thing and my tummy already feels better although still pain if that makes sense. Any tips or advice … many many thanks Christine

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    1. Hi Christine,

      It really is very difficult to manage such an acute condition. I’d say in addition to the medication, try to help your stomach by making good food choices. Emphasize whole foods, sufficient protein, healthful fats, and vegetables your stomach can tolerate (zucchini, carrots, broccoli, cucumber, pumpkin). The paleo diet has been a life changer for me. Since I didn’t have h. pylori, medication didn’t help my problem much. But good food choices have made all the difference. In general, keep trying to find ways to resolve the problem! It can get better, and you don’t need to suffer through all the pain!

      Like

  3. Ivana

    Hello Marisha

    Thank you so much for your post, you make me feel calm down now, for the past one month i feel so crazy with my gastritis, so happy to find your post, i find out that i’m not the one that have negative pylori

    I go to many doctor and no significant result, every morning i get up and feel my stomach is cramping, some times a little bit stabbing sensation, all i want to know Marisha, can this gastritis healing and we got normal life? I was spicy food lover and can’t eat that anymore make me sad, because almost everything in my city is spicy food :(, and also, maybe you can share your recipe :), because its so hard to find the recipe that suit our condition,

    Anyway thank you so much for sharing your experience, it’s help me a lot

    Like

    1. Hi Ivana,

      I’m so glad you reached out and that my post has helped you. What you describe sounds very recognizable, unfortunately 😦 I can say that yes, gastritis can heal and we can lead a normal life again. I’m at a stage where it’s 80-90% healed and it only acts up if I eat something very spicy or very acidic. I eat paleo-style, and my favorite website is this: https://paleoleap.com/ Some of my favorite recipes right now are:
      https://paleoleap.com/lemon-garlic-baked-salmon/ (just make sure the garlic actually gets cooked because otherwise it will probably irritate your stomach; or just omit the garlic)
      https://paleoleap.com/mediterranean-style-chicken-coconut-dill-sauce/
      https://paleoleap.com/orange-rosemary-seared-salmon/
      https://paleoleap.com/balsamic-chicken-drumsticks/

      And for breakfast I usually make a frittata such as this one: https://paleoleap.com/zucchini-and-sweet-potato-frittata/

      I hope this helps! And good luck with your healing journey! It’s definitely possible to get better, but you just need to find out what works for you. These are examples of the things that work for me 🙂

      Like

  4. Heather Hanna

    Hi Marisha,

    I’m glad to stumbled upon your blog. I’ve been struggling with gastritis for about 3 months now. I believe it was brought on by stress (working, homeschooling, not sleeping well, etc.), since my mother has had 3 episodes of this during the course of her life, all during stressful times. I’ve had an endoscopy and tested negative for H Pylori and fortunately, the doctor didn’t find anything serious, except for redness. I used to love salads for lunch, but sadly, the raw veggies caused me so much burning, so I’ve had to give them up. The same goes for apples–I used to eat one every day in the afternoon, but I’ve set them aside for now. Everything I had found online stated that apples and salads were good for gastritis–I found this incredibly frustrating, so it makes me feel better to read that I’m not the only one for whom these foods don’t work. I’ve been taking Nexium for almost 3 months. I have 2 more weeks of being on it and then I’m supposed to take it every other day for ~ 2 weeks. I can’t wait to go off of it (I’m aware of the side effects long term), but I’m also a little nervous about how I’ll feel. I haven’t tried glutamine yet, so I’m going to give that a try. I want to be sure I have some natural remedies at the ready. It’s been very helpful to read your story and to hear what you’ve done and what’s worked for you. Thanks for putting this out there. It gives me hope that I too can get better. 🙂 Hope you’re doing well these days!

    Thanks,
    Heather

    Like

    1. Hi Heather,
      I’m so glad to hear that! Thank you for writing in!
      At the same time, I’m sorry you’re struggling with gastritis. It can definitely be triggered by stress, as you know all too well. With regards to the vegetables, I know, it’s so frustrating to be told that it’s healthy to eat salad and apples when they give you pain! I definitely relate to that. I eat lots of steamed or roasted veggies, and that tends to work well. Even things like cauliflower and brussel sprouts, which can generally aggravate gut issues, are fine for me if I steam them well. And things like sweet potatoes, parsnips, carrots, zucchini, squash, pumpkin, cucumber, and broccoli always work well for me. About the apples, I bake them in the oven. I put apples and pears in the oven for ~40 minutes on 160 degrees Celsius, and they get nice and soft and super tasty! If you try this and still get irritation, try removing the skin as the ingredient that irritates gastritis is right beneath the skin. This is also a trick to try with raw apples: if you peel them, you may notice that you can eat them just fine (or maybe try this in a couple of months when you’re feeling a bit better).
      Good luck with weaning off Nexium! Don’t worry, if you’ve been taking it for 3-4 months, it’s probably not long enough to cause any long-lasting side effects. Let me know how it goes and if you try L-glutamine. By the way, keep in mind that you may need to take some probiotics after stopping Nexium (anti-acid medications can cause gut dysbiosis, which is an imbalance in the gut microbiota). The best probiotic approach I know about is described here (https://drruscio.com/probiotics-starter-guide/), but you will certainly benefit by replenishing with some probiotics in general.
      Good luck and keep me posted!!

      Like

      1. Heather Hanna

        Hi Marisha,

        Thanks for your tip on baking the apples and pears (another fruit which now bothers me). It’s great to know that works for you and sounds like a delicious way to enjoy them! When I’m feeling a little more brave, perhaps I’ll try the apple without the skin too–I hadn’t considered that the skin could be what’s irritating my stomach. I’ll keep you posted on how the L-glutamine works. I also appreciate the link to the article re probiotics–super helpful. I was taking one from Klaire Labs for a while, but stopped taking it. I had been taking it for a few years and wondered if I was still gaining any benefits. I’ll definitely be interested in resuming some kind of probiotics after I stop the Nexium. Thanks again!

        Hope you have a great weekend!
        Heather

        Like

      2. Hi Heather,
        Great, I’m glad that’s helpful!
        About probiotics, the recommendation used to be to rotate through different brands of probiotics (so don’t take the same ones for years and years, no matter how good they are). This recommendation is still a good one and better than taking the same one, I’d say. So maybe choose a couple of brands you like. Or follow the description in the link above, that would be best, it seems.
        Good luck and all the best!
        Marisha

        Like

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