Gastritis, inflammation of lining of the stomach, may be acute or chronic. The term includes group of conditions. It is the response of the stomach lining to injury. Many things can cause the inflammation. Though the lining of the stomach is strong enough to withstand strong acid, drinking too much alcohol, eating spicy foods, or smoking can cause the lining to become inflamed and irritated.
Causes of gastritis is vast. It includes drinking too much alcohol, eating spicy foods, smoking, prolonged use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), infection with bacteria such as E. coli, Salmonella, or Helicobacter pylori, major surgery, traumatic injury or burns, severe infection, certain diseases, such as megaloblastic (pernicious) anemia, autoimmune disorders, and chronic bile reflux.
The first symptom that appear is a gnawing or burning ache or pain (indigestion) in the upper abdomen. It may become either worse or better when eating. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, belching or bloating, fullness of abdomen after eating and weight loss. Acute gastritis occurs suddenly in a day or two, which usually cause nausea and burning pain or discomfort in the upper abdomen. Chronic gastritis develops gradually and is more likely to cause a dull pain and a feeling of fullness or loss of appetite after eating little food. However, sometimes chronic gastritis does not cause any signs and symptoms.
Examinations and tests
Complete medical history and physical examination are required to diagnose. In addition to that, gastroscopy (to check the inflammation of the lining and to take a tiny sample of the lining for biopsy), blood test (helpful to detect anemia) and stool culture (to check the presence of abnormal bacteria which may cause diarrhea and other problems, and the presence of blood, which indicates gastritis) are being done.
Diet & Lifestyle Tips
Eating habits: If one experiences frequent indigestion, he/she can eat smaller, more frequent meals to buffer stomach acid secretion. It is better to avoid spicy, acidic, fried or fatty food. Good eating habits to be practiced.
Avoiding alcohol: It irritates and erodes the mucous lining of the stomach, causing inflammation and bleeding.
Avoding smoke: Smoking interferes with the protective lining of the stomach, making the stomach more susceptible to gastritis as well as ulcers. Smoking also increases stomach acid; delays stomach healing and are a leading risk factor for stomach cancer. Still, quitting isn't easy, especially those who smoke for years. Talking to the doctor about methods that may help stop smoking is better.
Avoiding pain relievers: Some may cause stomach inflammation or make existing irritation worse.
Maintaining a healthy weight: Heartburn, bloating and constipation tend to be more common in obese people. Maintaining a healthy weight can often help prevent or reduce these symptoms.
Regular exercise: Aerobic exercise that increases the breathing and heart rate also stimulates the activities of intestinal muscles, helping to move food wastes through your intestines more quickly.
Managing stress: Stress increases risk of heart attack and stroke, increases stomach acid production and slows digestion. For relaxation one can practice yoga. Making a habit of regular exercise, morning walk, eat healthy, nutritious food, can boost the immune system & make the mind calm.
CAM therapies for gastritis
A paper collected and analyzed 40,398 pieces of information from Chinese Modern Acupuncture Information Database (1970–2002). It covered 93 articles concerning the treatment of chronic gastritis by acupuncture and 5,325 subjects, the total effective rate being 94.4%. According to the paper the frequent treatment methods are needling, moxibustion, burial therapy, and hydropuncture. The major acupoints are Zusanli (ST 36), Zhongwan (CV 12), Weishu (BL 21), Pishu (BL20), Neiguan (PC 6), Ganshu (BL 18), Sanyinjiao (SP 6), etc. In the presence of severe stomachache, Liangqiu (ST 34) and Gongsun (SP 4) are added; in the presence of abdominal fullness, Tianshu (ST 25) and Qihai (CV 6) are added; in the presence of diarrhea, Tianshu (ST 25) and Shangjuxu (ST 37) are added; in the presence of vomiting, Shangwan (CV 13) and Taichong (LR 3) are added. 
Ayurveda assesses the balance and imbalance to treat gastritis. According to ayurveda the root causes of gastritis are toxins accumulating in tissues and blocking circulation, poor nutrition, poor digestion, imbalance of the nervous system, accumulation of physical and mental stress, reduced natural resistance and immunity and disruption of natural biological rhythms.
Following herbs are helpful in gastritis. Asparagus racemosa reduces the burning in the stomach. The root of the asparagus is effective in reducing the hyperacidity of the digestive system. Matricaria chamomilla (Bitter Chamomile) is effective in allaying the gastritis that is caused due to tensions and worries. It is usually recommended to take the tea of this herb. Elattaria cardamomum (Cardamom) is also beneficial in alleviating the burning pain. Fenneliculum vulgare (Fennel) is traditionally used by Indians in aiding digestion. It soothes the stomach, facilitates digestion, reduces flatulence and relieves the stomach of excess acidity. Zingiber officinale's (Ginger) extract is effective in treating the acid dyspepsia that is associated with gastritis. It is especially useful for people who consume more of a non-vegetarian food. Emblica officinalis (Indian Gooseberry) is commonly known as amla.It is very beneficial in the treatment of several stomach ailments including gastritis. It is also used for dyspepsia, burning sensation, anorexia, vomiting and hemorrhage. Glycyrrhiza glabra's (Licorice) root can soothe the inflammation and the injury to the stomach. It also reduces the proliferation of Helicobacter pylori. Rheum emodi (Rhubarb) is a mild agent and is effectively used in treating gastritis problems in children. It can reduce the acidity in the stomach. Santalum album (Sandalwood) helps in gastritis because of its cooling properties. It can soothe the stomach muscles inflamed by gastritis.
Homeopathy has a wider scope in both acute and chronic gastritis. The rubrics usually refered for gastritis are Stomach, Inflammation ([J. T. Kent]), Stomach, Inflammation ([W. Boericke]), Stomach, Inflamed, Acute gastritis ([Boenninghausen]) and Stomach, Gastritis ([R. Murphy]).
Following drugs are commonly used.
Heartburn with flatulence. Nausea and vomiting in the morning. He feels “If I could only vomit I would be so much better”. Alternating constipation and diarrhea. Eructations sour, bitter; nausea and vomiting every morning with depression of spirits, after eating. Heartburn. Drinking milk seems to cause acidity. Hunger, but if he eats ever so little, he is satisfied and feels quite full. Repeated, violent vomiting of sour mucus with headache or with blood. Nux vomica is mostly indicated in case of chronic gastritis which is caused by tobacco, alcoholic stimulants, aromatic or patent medicines, sedentary habits, highly spiced food. Contractive, squeezing stomachache.
It has pain in the pit of stomach when the hypochondria are pressed and pain in hypochondria when the pit of stomach is pressed. There is fullness even after a light meal, with no intestinal irritation. Offensive discharges. Eructation ameliorates gastric troubles. Bitter taste in mouth at night, sour vomiting. A grand characteristic of Lycopodium is, “The patient goes to meals with a vigorous appetite, but after eating a small quantity of food he feels so full and bloated that he has to force himself to swallow another mouthful; and he leaves the table with his hunger, only momentarily satisfied.”
Gastritis with chronic erosion. Burning, gnawing circumscribed pain. The all gone, weak feeling at 11 a.m. starting from stomach to bowel. Craves for cold food and cold drinks which give relief temporarily, but are vomited as soon as they become warm in stomach. Very useful remedy in the vomiting of chronic dyspepsia.
Foul, bitter or sour taste. Burning pain in stomach like fire, as if hot coals were applied to part, better by hot application, hot drinks. Acrid and bitter eructation. Irritative dyspepsia and acute inflammation. Nausea, retching and vomiting of slimy mucus tingled with blood. Trembling and coldness of extremities with pain in stomach and oppressive anxiety.
Hiccups after hot drinks. Forcible eructations, mostly of air. After eating, empty eructation of air. After frequent eructation, copious ejection of mucus. Constant sick eructation with very violent cough. Voracious hunger, great thirst. Vomiting is slimy acid liquids with food froth, yellowish green or white mucus, with black bile and blood, colicky pain with salivation and profuse cold perspiration.
Is best adapted to persons of gouty or rheumatic diathesis. Great thirst for large quantities at long intervals. Pressure as from stone at pit of the stomach, relieved by eructation. Stool large, hard, dark, and dry, as if burnt. Diarrhoea during a spell of hot weather; bilious, acrid with soreness of anus; like dirty water; of undigested food; from cold drinks when overheated, from fruit or sour foods aggravated in morning, on moving, even a hand or foot and ameliorated by absolute rest. Aggravation from any motion, and corresponding relief from absolute rest, either mental or physical. Pains: stitching, tearing, worse at night;
Abdominal pain in short attacks, causes redness of face and eyes. Abdomen tender, distended; aggravated by least jar. Loss of appetite with desire to drink without thirst. Eructation and vertigo. Nausea and inclination to vomit. Violent stomachache after a meal. Bilious vomiting.
Distention of stomach and bowel, obliged to loosen clothing. Gastralgia. burning, crampy, colicky pain in the stomach, ameliorated after eating. Cramps in the epigastrium and putrid eructation. Sweets nauseate and disgust, hot drinks disagree. Aversion to meat. Flatus rancid or putrid.
Violent burning in the stomach, with paroxysmal cramps which force the patient to double up; with flatulence. Putrid variety of dyspepsia. Slow digestion; feels as if a weight in the stomach, which is not relieved by eating; but after a few mouthfuls there is a sense of fullnesss. Eructations are rancid, putrid or sour.
Violent belching and great relief from it. Pain is gnawing, ulcerative, referred to the pit of stomach. Vomiting of glairy mucus, which can be drawn into strings. Longing for sugar which aggravates the complaints. Pain in spot radiates to every direction.
It has deathly faintness at the pit of stomach. Profuse saliva in the mouth. Stool hot, scanty, bloody, slimy, and offensive, with terrible cutting, colicky pains. Useful in painful acute inflammation. Tenesmus, not relieved by stool. A never get done feeling in the rectum.
Gastric complaints from bad effects of beer. Loss of appetite. Weight in pit of stomach. Flatulence aggravated soon after eating. Vomiting of ropy mucus and blood; round ulcer in the stomach. Can not digest meat.
It is best suited to weak patients having low vital power. Sensation of satiety after a few mouthfuls of food. Sour, bitter eructations; flatus is offensive. Slow digestion and patient faints easily. There is a sensation as if food had lodged in the oesophagus. In cases where the food does not digest, but lies a long time in the stomach, causing eructations and finally is vomited out undigested.
Burning in the stomach. Gastritis caused by chronic alcoholism. When carefully selected remedies fail to produce favorable effects, especially in acute diseases, it frequently serves to rouse the reactive powers of the system. Weak, empty, gone or faint feeling in the stomach about 11.a.m. and can not wait for lunch. Congestion of abdomen. Stool acrid excoriating. It follows Aconite well. Sour eructation all the day. Long heartburn. Belching up of a portion of the food that had been eaten. In the morning inclination to vomit. Morning nausea. Bulked eructation on going to sleep.
It is indicated where the system is broken by long term bacterial infection, pernicious anemia, hazards of radiation and chemotherapy. Putrid belching, dyspepsia with sleepiness. Before eating, there is a faint sinking feeling in the epigastrium out of proportion to the feeling of vacuity caused by hunger, with sour eructation, heartburn and with peculiar weak nervous sensation. Desire for sugar and sweet.
Adapted to persons of indecisive, slow, phlegmatic temperament; sandy hair, blue eyes, pale face, easily moved to laughter or tears. All gone sensation in the stomach. Great dryness of mouth. Diminished taste of all food. In the morning sour eructation, in the evening bilious eructation, in the night bitter eructation. Intolerable nausea; short and bilious vomiting. Inclination to vomit with grumbling and rumbling in the sub costal region. Flatulent colic. Stool mingled with little blood. Pinching pain in epigastrium. Thirstlessness with nearly all complaints. Gastric difficulties from eating rich food, cake, pastry, especially after pork or sausage; the sight or even the thought of pork causes disgust; "bad taste" in the morning.
Aconite is indicated in acute gastritis condition. Empty eructation, ineffectual effort to eructate. Nausea and vomiting with profuse perspiration, swollen, distended abdomen. Complaints are with mental anxiety accompanied with restlessness. Pains are intolerable, they drive him crazy.