What is gastritis and how do we get infected? Gastritis is caused by a bacterium called ‘Helicobacter Pylori’ (H.pylori). The exact science behind how humans become infected with this bacterium is still unknown.
However, research has found some correlation between socioeconomic condition, and H.pylori. Humans and animals have shown to be infected with this bacterium for many centuries. In developing countries, the infection rate is around 80% to 90% while in developed countries, it is around 13% to 50%.
A breakthrough research was conducted at University of Western Australia by two medical researchers, Barry Marshall and Robin Warren. They received a Nobel Prize for their discoveries about this pathogen. You can read this research journal here: Pathogenesis of H. pylori Infection.
H. pylori, unlike most bacteria, has learned to thrive in an acidic environment. When aggravated, they inflame the stomach lining, causing gastritis. If untreated, gastritis can develop into peptic ulcer and lead to gastric cancer. It can also spread through saliva, food and sexual activities.
I was diagnosed with gastritis earlier this year. My GP put me on antibiotics treatment. I was prescribed Amoxicillin, Klacid and Nexium. Later through my nutrition course, I found research studies that show what aggravates H. pylori and how it can be cured with food.
H. pylori inflammation can get worse through improper diet, use of certain medications and chronic stress. Diet consisting of coffee, alcohol, spicy and processed food aggravates inflammation. Thus, removing these from your diet will help. Eliminating night shades and milk further improved my pain symptoms. But then every one is different so feel free to experiment.
L. Holubiuk and J. Imelda published a research journal summarizing the findings from various research studies on diet and H. pylori. The following foods have shown to fight H. pylori in clinical trials:
- Brassica vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, bok choi, headed cabbage, swede and radish contain a cancer fighting compound called ‘Isothiocyanates’ or abbreviated as ITC. The antioxidative properties of ITC prevents the formation of cancer cells. Its antibacterial properties helps to fight H. pylori. The best way to consume these vegetables to ensure maximum absorption of all nutrients is either steaming using a steamer or a quick stir-fry. Do not roast them if you can.
- Fruits that are high in phenols such as blueberry, strawberry, raspberry and blackberry. In a randomized double-blinded clinical trial, 189 gastric patients were given 250ml of blueberry juice everyday for 90 days. On the 35th day, 15% returned negative results to H. pylori.
- Plant-based oil containing polyphenols, such as blackcurrant seed oil and grapefruit seed oil, have bactericidal properties against H. pylori. This was discovered in another research. However, I do have to state a disclaimer here. All food in its raw or cooked form are able to deliver more nutrients and heal any inflammation effectively then in any processed form. Hence I would recommend adding blackcurrants and grapefruit to your diet rather than taking them as supplements. The reason for this is, processing usually involves the use of chemicals that maybe more harmful.
Eliminating ibuprofen and stress, will greatly enhance the chances of your recovery. My alternative option for pain relieve is paracetamol. I try to keep the stress at bay by meditating at least once a day.
Have you been diagnosed with gastritis? Please feel free to share how you got relieve from this pathogen. Hope you found this post useful 🙂