Gastritis is one common cause of stomach and back pain. The condition is vaguely defined as any irritation or inflammation of the stomach lining. There are a number of different causes of gastritis, and treating he inflammation involves determining the cause. There are a number of medical and natural treatments for gastritis, and educating yourself on your options will help you make the best decision.
-Upper left abdominal pain radiating to the back
-Burning sensation in stomach at night or between meals
-Loss of appetite and weight
-Nausea and vomiting
-Vomit with blood or coffee ground consistency
If you have these symptoms, it is a good idea to get tested for gastritis. Diagnosis often involves endoscopy, blood tests to detect bacteria or anemia and/or a stool test.
Gastritis can be caused by anything that stresses the stomach. Consider the following:
-Consumption of alcohol, coffee, strong teas, aspirin or NSAIDs, all of which can erode sensitive stomach lining
-H. Pylori infection: This bacteria is passed from person to person through contact with saliva, fecal matter or vomit. According to WebMD, half of the world’s population is infected with H. Pylori, but many never develop symptoms.
-Pernicious anemia: Occurs when the stomach fails to produce a protein that facilitates absorption of vitamin B12
Gastritis treatment depends on the cause, but there are a few common guidelines in treating any form of gastritis. One main method is to control the amount of stomach acid present in the organ, since acid can cause further irritation. Acid levels can be controlled by dietary changes. Eating small, frequent meals helps by eliminating overeating and reducing stomach acid by providing food to absorb it regularly. Avoiding known irritants like caffeine, alcohol, NSAIDs and aspirin is also a general guideline.
Gastritis caused by pernicious anemia can be treated with B12 injections.
H. Pylori is typically treated with antibiotics. It is also possible that eating foods high in flavonoids such as licorice root, apples, celery and berries could inhibit the spread of this bacteria.
While most health practitioners recommend avoiding spicy foods, cayenne and chili pepper may protect against stomach irritation caused by irritants like alcohol and aspirin. See www.uofmhealth.org for a list of treatment tips and references to studies supporting their efficacy.
Healthy dietary changes may be all you need to do to remedy gastritis. Consider gastritis as a possible back pain cause when correlated with stomach pain.