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Every now and then we all have a feeling like our stomach is on fire.
Whether it’s due to a virus, overindulging in food or alcohol, or medications like antibiotics, most of us have been in the land of the burning belly.
But many people are suffering daily with “gastric flames.”
They feel like an incinerator no matter what they eat, pop antacids and sleep propped up on pillows on a regular basis.
This "stomach on fire" is called gastritis.
Here's the scoop on this nasty fire-in-the-gut as well as ways you can help put out the flames if you've got it.
The fire down below
Simply put, gastritis is inflammation in the lining of your stomach.
It can be temporary and last just a short time (acute gastritis) or become more gnawing and long-term (chronic gastritis).
People who have gastritis typically experience these symptoms:
- Loss of appetite
- Vomiting after eating
- Abdominal pain or cramping
- Black stools
- Vomiting of blood or coffee ground-like material
I'm not a rock...I'm not an island
Gastritis is not a "stand alone" condition--instead the inflammation is typically caused by a variety of culprits that can include:
- Long-term use of medications like aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- H. Pylori infection (the bacteria that causes ulcers)
- Autoimmune diseases
- Backflow of bile into the stomach (bile reflux)
- Extreme, chronic stress
- Viral infection
- Trauma or injury
Many different causes but just one answer?
The typical treatment suggestion for gastritis is acid reducers.
Stomach acid is a very popular scapegoat and is commonly seen as a "bad guy" when people have GI problems like acid reflux, GERD and gastritis, but nothing could be farther from the truth!
On the contrary, you NEED stomach acid for these 2 VERY important reasons:
1- The break down
You MUST have acid to properly break down your foods, especially proteins.
But if your stomach’s acid production is hampered by acid reducers, your digestion can S-L-O-W way down or even stop.
Your stomach may try desperately to jump start digestion again by secreting more acid, but the acid again gets counteracted by the medication.
The end result is a poorly digested, rotting food mass--which can lead to gas, bloating, constipation and anything-but-normal BMs as it moves through your intestines.
This can also hamper your nutrient absorption and expose you to deficiencies.
2- On guard!
The hydrochloric acid in your stomach is your front line of defense against dangerous toxins, bacteria and even carcinogens (cancer-causing substances) that you ingest with your food or from the environment.
But when your stomach acid is suppressed or neutralized by acid reducers, it can’t do its important job of protecting you.
So those toxins have a wide open door into your intestinal tract!
From there they can get absorbed into your bloodstream, and heaven help you after that. Any area of your body is fair game to suffer, because your blood vessels go everywhere.
Safer, better answers
Instead of disabling your stomach acid, a far safer and more effective approach to ease the inflammation of gastritis involves these three things:
1) Pull it up by the roots
With gastritis it's vital to look at the root cause behind it and then do whatever you can to alleviate it.
For example, if you're under a lot of stress, take advantage of de-stressing measures.
Exercise, meditation, counseling, prayer, yoga, deep breathing, taking up a hobby or adopting a pet have all been shown to be helpful.
If you hit the booze too much...it's time to cut back or quit altogether. Get help if you need it and feel you can't do it on your own.
And if you're taking anti-inflammatories or pain relievers on a regular basis, it's time to talk to your doctor about alternatives.
One safe, effective and proven answer has been to take advantage of Nature's anti-inflammatory--Omega-3 essential fatty acids.
These are abundant in fatty fish, but if you're not a fish fan or are concerned with contamination, many people have gotten great results with a quality fish oil supplement like Vital Mega-3.
VitalMega-3 is a top-notch fish oil formula that delivers a full 1,000 mg. of the recommended EPA and DHA essential fatty acids (600 mg. EPA and 400 mg. DHA—the ideal 3:2 ratio) in every daily 2-capsule serving.
Plus VitalMega-3 goes through a rigorous purification process to remove dangerous substances like mercury and PCB's.
2) Attack H. pylori
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection is a leading cause of gastritis (as well as ulcers).
Studies have shown that the probiotic bacteria strains Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei and Bifidobacteria lactis slow the growth of bacteria such as H. pylori and sometimes even kill it.
Plus, probiotics populate the intestinal tract where they help digest your foods, fight off harmful pathogens and encourage regular, healthy bowel movements.
Super Shield multi-strain probiotic formula can be your ticket to fighting H. pylori and gastritis.
Super Shield contains top-quality strains of B. lactis, L. acidophilus and L. casei -- the 3 strains that have been shown to be effective for H. pylori.
Plus, Super Shield's 10 other powerhouse strains each have their own specialty in terms of the health benefits they provide.
3) Make your stomach's job easier
Food is by far THE most common cause of digestive issues--specifically eating meals that are next-to-impossible for your system to break down and create fireworks in your gut.
If you ever want hopes of feeling good and not needing acid reducers, it’s crucial that you eat foods that digest easier together.
When you do this, your meals have a better chance to be broken down like they should be, your stomach likely won’t have to overproduce acid, and your intestines can better "finish the job" like they're supposed to.
All it takes is following the simple guidelines in the Great Taste No Pain health system.
Great Taste No Pain explains why it's so important to avoid certain meal combinations because they tax your stomach and intestines so much.
Then it goes on to show you what GOOD meal combinations are and gives you suggestions for meal planning around all your favorite foods, so you can help encourage easier digestion day in and day out!
Now, if you're gluten-free, don't worry--I've got you covered too. Great Taste No Gluten is for you instead.
Don't let gastritis make any more of your days miserable!
Especially when there are SO many easy, natural ways you can help that are FAR safer than acid reducers.
Put the power of natural healing to work against YOUR gastritis and see what a huge difference it can make for you.
To your health,
Follow me on Twitter @sherry_brescia and Instagram @sherrybrescia