Gastritis

Ayurvedic treatment for gastritis

Definition

Gastritis is a common name for all kinds of inflammation of the inner lining of the stomach, which is known as the mucosa. It is characterised by severe stomach ailments like cramps in the stomach, diarrhoea and constipation and even blood in the stools.  Gastritis is a common condition today, affecting those of all ages.

H. pylori are a common gastric pathogen that causes gastritis, peptic ulcer disease, gastric adenocarcinoma, and low-grade gastric lymphoma. Infection may be asymptomatic or result in varying degrees of dyspepsia. The main cause of gastritis is unhealthy food, which includes junk foods, food cooked in adulterated oil and in unhygienic condition. Other causes of gastritis are excess consumption of caffeine, alcohol. Stress, depression, sorrow, pain, side effects of some drugs, etc., are some other reasons. Certain diseases, such as pernicious anaemia, autoimmune disorders, and chronic bile reflux, can cause gastritis as well.

Tests for gastritis are guided by the suspected cause of the disorder and as suggested by the history, symptoms, and pattern of symptom development. They may include various tests like Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, blood test, stool test etc. Gastric pathogen i.e. H. Pylori is diagnosed by urea breath test and testing of endoscopic biopsy samples.

In Ayurveda, gastritis is known as Urdhvaga Amlapitta. It is caused mainly in people with Pitta constitution. When the Pitta dosha gets vitiated, in such people, there are greater chances of getting gastritis. The three doshas present in the humans, namely, Vata (air energy), Pitta (fire energy) and Kapha (liquid energy) are situated in the grahani (duodenum) that are the seat of digestive fire or Agni. Fasting, eating during indigestion etc. deranges the pachaka pitta and Agni and causes Amlapitta.

Management of Gastritis in IVAC:

We at IVAC are aimed at Redefining Ayurveda by propagating the ancient traditions of Ayurveda to the modern world and practising the Genuine, Traditional & Purest form of AYURVEDA. Ayurveda helps to prevent attacks by dietary regulations, daily regimens, yoga that includes Asana, Pranayama and Meditation and a complete Panchakarma (detoxification) i.e. The Panchakarma program will help you in removing the toxins from your body and helps to improve your metabolism and rejuvenation treatments to recover.

Yoga Therapy for Gastritis:

The following yoga asanas are just a few of the many poses that can affect stomach problems, such as ulcers, by massaging the internal organs, improving glandular functions, decreasing acid production, and reducing stress. A regular hatha yoga practice (asana) in addition to a regular practice of deep yogic breathing (pranayama) will promote faster healing of stomach ulcers and general gastritis. Postures should be restorative or passive with emphasis on the breath.

Asanas for Gastritis:

  • Lying Twists to Cleanse the Digestive System and Improve Functioning
  • Markatasana (Spinal Twist in lying position)
  • It is easiest to maintain an aligned and open spine in a supine posture. There are many variations of lying twists: one or both knees may be bent at a time, the legs may remain straight, or even be bound. Regardless of the position of the legs, the chest should remain relaxed and open and the head should turn in the opposite direction of the hips. Twists cleanse and massage the stomach, releasing excess toxins, acidity, bile, and gas in the digestive system.
  • When twisting so that the hips move to the left and gaze to the right, the stomach is stretched open, increasing blood flow and healing energy to the organ. When the hips move to the right and the gaze to the left in the twist, the stomach is compressed and massaged; toxicity is released, acid production is slowed, and cell regeneration is encouraged.

Inversions to Restore Hormone Balance:

  • Inversions are wonderful for restoring the body’s overall hormonal balance and for toning all the internal organs by reversing the flow of gravity. They also have a calming effect on the mind and can relieve anxiety and stress. Except for cases of dangerously high blood pressure, physical injuries of the head and spine, or menstruation, inversions are good for almost any condition caused by stress or hormonal imbalance.

Headstand (Sirsasana):

  • Perform yoga headstand against a wall, with spotters, or alone if proficient. Do a full headstand only if the body can relax in the posture and the breath is not hindered or quickened.
  • A half headstand (ardha sirsasana) can be performed from a tripod position (see image) with the knees resting on the elbows or with the legs resting on a chair with the arms in a position most comfortable to the practitioner. Half headstands are more restorative and are actually preferred for treatment of peptic ulcers. What is important about the posture in regards to the stomach is that the abdomen is inverted; the position of the legs has little effect.

Ardha Halasana/Sukha Halasana (Half Plough/Easy Plough Pose):

  • Half Plough is preferred to a full plough in the case of gastric problems as a deep forward fold sometimes stimulates the production of gastric fluids, by stimulating the fire element in the body. In a shoulder stand with the legs resting on a prop placed behind the head such as a chair, block, or several bolsters, the abdomen remains relaxed, while the benefits of an inversion and a gentle stretch along the vertebral column are still experienced.

Passive Backbends Calm the Nervous System and Increase Circulation in the Abdomen

Passive or supported backbends have the effect of:

  • Stretching and soothing the vagus nerve, which controls peristaltic movement in the stomach, decreasing acid production, and
  • Increasing blood flow to the digestive organs. They can be done on a full or empty stomach.

Supta Virasana (Reclined Hero’s Pose):

  • This pose, sometimes called the healing pose, has many variations to accommodate the flexibility and joint conditions of the practitioner (see image). Essentially, this is a backbend done with bent legs. The student may be sitting on or between the heels and the pose may be done with back lying on the floor or draped over pillows, bolsters, or blankets. The entire body should be relaxed and comfortable. The low belly stretches open as well as the area below and underneath the rib cage. The breath creates a deep massage in this pose as the movement of the diaphragm and lungs is exaggerated. One may place his hands over the sternum in anjali mudra (prayer) to stimulate the thyroid gland in order to strengthen the body’s immune system.

Supported Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose in Shoulder stand):

  • This is a bridge pose from the shoulders. This asana will have similar effects as supta virasana, but without excessive pressure on the joints and with the added benefits of a gentle inversion. Use a chair or prop of a certain height and length such that the shoulders and the back of the head rest comfortably on the floor and the torso rests on the chair or prop from the top of the thoracic spine to the sacrum. Let the belly relax and open the legs extended across props of equal height to the prop under the back. Breathe deeply and fully from the belly to the collar bones. Spend five minutes or more in this pose as long as it is comfortable.

Therapeutic yoga often speeds up the process of healing initiated by medication and surgery. With continued practice, yoga can maintain digestive balance and health, restoring and reinforcing the mind-body connection.

Pranayamas for Gastritis:

  • Kapalabhati
  • Bhastrika
  • Anuloma viloma

Gastritis Diet:

Unhealthy food and lack of nutritional food is the major cause of gastritis. Patient suffering from gastritis should fast for 3-4 days. They may be given warm water during these days. The main idea behind keeping them from abstaining from food is that the inflammation in the stomach will decrease as the toxic material inside the stomach diminishes.

The patient can also be given juicy fruits like grapes, apples, oranges, watermelons, etc., 2-3 times a day. The patient should survive on these juicy fruits only, at least for 2-3 days. This fruit-diet gives fast relief and detoxifies the stomach. The patient should realise very well that unhealthy food habit, excess intake of alcohol and other drugs are the main cause of gastritis, and they should not forget this.

Once patient start showing improvement, he can be given balanced gastritis diet containing cereals, grains, green leafy vegetable, juicy fruits, etc.

The diet for ulcers and gastritis is more or less similar. In fact, you should have foods that do not irritate the stomach lining when suffering from the disorders of the stomach. Acidic and fried foods top the list in foods that need to be avoided diet for gastritis sufferers. The following is detailed information on gastritis: foods to avoid and foods to eat.

Foods to Eat:

As mentioned above, foods containing acid is not allowed in the gastritis diet. There are several natural foods that can be safely eaten when suffering from this condition. One should note that these foods should be eaten without frying, marinating; simply in their natural forms if possible.

  • Leafy vegetables
  • Fresh fruits
  • Wheat bran
  • Whole grain products
  • Unpolished rice
  • Pasta/macaroni
  • Noodles
  • Eggs
  • Fish/lean meat
  • Tofu
  • Herbal tea
  • Coconut water
  • Carrot/fruit juice

Foods to avoid:

Unfortunately, the list of foods to avoid in the gastric diet is a longer one. However, following this diet quickly will help you get rid of this disease and recover earlier. Therefore, you need to avoid the following foods:

  • Fatty and greasy foods
  • Tomatoes, tomato juice, and other tomato based products
  • Cabbage, broccoli, beans, fried meat and fried eggs
  • Peppermint, chocolates, ice cream, cream, chips
  • Milk, butter, cream, cheese and other dairy products
  • Cranberry juice and other citrus juice
  • Alcohol, coffee and other caffeine-containing foods
  • Milkshakes, oils, vegetable oils

In the liquid diet for gastritis, you need to include only plain drinking water, herbal tea, coconut water, etc. and completely avoid coffee, sodas and other soft drinks. Apart from this gastritis diet menu, you also need to follow certain dietary habits that will help get rid of the symptoms of this disease immediately. Firstly, you should have smaller meals rather than going for the large ones as having excess foods can lead to indigestion. Secondly, you should eat food slowly for proper digestion. Lastly, you should completely stay away from hot, spicy and fried foods (especially at night). These foods tend to irritate the stomach and cause indigestion and gastritis. One should also note that it is essential to continue with this proper diet and food habits even after you recover from the disease to prevent its recurrence.