Gastric problems are usually associated with stomach pains, bloating, heartburns, and loss of appetite. Although it is often referred to as being the same as gastritis, it is not true because real gastritis means that there is inflammation, irritation, or erosion of the lining of the stomach. If a person is diabetic or suffers from chronic stress, their chances of suffering types of this condition also increase. Although the liver is an important organ of digestion, it is not common for gastric problems to be associated with liver diseases. There are however certain foods that if eaten excessively could affect the function of the liver and this could lead to worsened gastric health and other ailments. Here we look at some foods that cause acid reflux and how they may contribute to furthering your gastric problem conditions.
Causes of gastric problem
A number of foods can cause problems with the digestive system. Some produce excess gas and interfere with proper digestion, while others irritate the lining of the stomach and small intestine.
The list below is just a few examples:
Cold drinks and ice cream
They may be difficult to digest because they usually contain too much sugar or fat for your body to easily absorb all at once. They also tend not to mix well in the stomach with other foods. As a result, you may experience bloating and indigestion after drinking pop or eating ice cream. A better choice would be fruit juice (not pineapple juice), fresh fruit (peaches, oranges, bananas), smoothies made from natural yogurt and products (cheese), or vegetable-based milkshakes made from soy, rice, or oat milk.
Leafy green vegetables that are high in fiber
Leafy greens move slowly through your body and may ferment as they pass through the digestive tract. If you have a sensitive system, this can result in excess gas and abdominal bloating. The best way to avoid these symptoms is to chew your food well before swallowing it. You can also help by serving cooked greens instead of raw ones. Another option is blending them first, which will break down some of the indigestible fibers so they are easier for your body to process.
Cooking or boiling vegetables breaks down cellulose, making them easier to digest. One good way to cook veggies is to steam them in a pot with very little water for 5-8 minutes. This will help prevent gas and bloating.
Sugary foods (including fruit juices)
These can cause problems because they are mostly made up of simple sugars that often ferment when combined with other foods in the stomach. For this reason, it’s best to avoid sugar after meals, especially if you tend to have trouble digesting food. If you must eat sugary snacks before bedtime, choose ones without too many artificial ingredients or colorings; for example, plain popcorn or dried fruit may be easier on your digestive system than candy bars or pastries.
Alcoholic drinks including beer increase the production of stomach acid which causes irritation in peptic ulcer patients as well as those who suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease. Persons with a gastric problem should therefore reduce their intake of alcohol if not totally avoid it in order to alleviate their condition.
Caffeine is also another cause for the production of stomach acid and these include coffee, tea, coke, and energy drinks. Apart from causing gastric acidity, caffeine-containing drinks can exacerbate heartburn symptoms by promoting gastro-esophageal reflux disease which causes stomach contents to flow back up into the esophagus. Heartburns are one of the common symptoms experienced by people with gastric problems and thus persons with this condition should at least decrease but preferably completely avoid caffeinated beverages if they want to improve their condition.
Milk and milk-based products, especially if they are high in fat content, increase the production of stomach acid which leads to further gastric problems. Milk contains a compound called casein while cream has a component called lecithin that both stimulate the secretion of gastric juices thus worsening your condition. Persons with gastric issues should not only avoid consuming dairy products but also try to eliminate them from their diet completely.
Gastric problem symptoms
There are a variety of symptoms that can accompany gastric problems. Some of these symptoms happen when you have certain medical conditions, while others don’t depend on the condition at all.
When you have an ulcer, stomach acid damages your stomach lining. Common symptoms include:
- Pain in your abdomen or back
- Loss of appetite and vomiting.
Symptoms often appear right before or after meals because that’s when acid levels are highest inside the stomach. With some ulcers, there are no symptoms at first but if they become large enough to break through the wall of the stomach you’ll experience severe abdominal pain – usually between one to four hours after eating. If this happens it’s important to seek immediate medical attention as blood may appear in your vomit or stools.
Gastric problem during pregnancy
Gastric problems are common during pregnancy. Some women find out they have gastric problems for the first time during pregnancy, but others experience the same symptoms as before they were pregnant. During pregnancy, your body changes dramatically and so does your digestive system. Because of this, your stomach is more sensitive to the effects of certain foods and beverages. For most women who have experienced the condition in their life, it gets worse when they get pregnant.
In some cases, the symptoms of a gastric problem disappear when a woman gets pregnant and they don’t come back after the baby is born.
If you have or had a gastric problem in your life and become pregnant, consult your doctor before continuing treatment for the gastric problem. Your doctor will help you determine whether it’s safe to take any medications you were taking for your gastric condition. If it is not safe to continue using these medications during your pregnancy, then your doctor will advise you about other treatments that are available if needed during pregnancy.
How to permanently cure gastric problem
Gastric problem is usually a chronic condition that can be cured if it’s caused by too much stomach acid. In this case, the simple treatment is to take an over-the-counter antacid medication for relief from symptoms. However, if gastric problems are caused by a different underlying disease, treatment should be directed at treating that disease. For example, if the cause of your problem is an infection from H. pylori bacteria, you will need antibiotics to get rid of the bacteria and treat the condition.
In most cases of the chronic gastric problem, your doctor may prescribe a medication to decrease the amount of acid that is produced in the stomach. That way you can avoid further damage to your stomach and digestive system. In severe cases where the pain is constant and disrupting sleep patterns, narcotic painkillers may be necessary.
Home remedies for gastric problem
Gastric problems like heartburn, nausea, bloating, burping, etc can be caused by eating spicy food, overeating, stress, etc. The symptoms usually go away after a few days of rest and not eating spicy food. But these home remedies might also help your condition.
Peppermint oil has been prescribed by herbal practitioners for the treatment of gastric disorders for many centuries now. The mechanism of action is quite similar to that of an antacid in peppermint oil and it also relaxes the intestines which helps in easing the passage of food through the stomach. You can add 2 drops of peppermint essential oil to 1 tbsp water and consume it thrice a day or take 1 tsp crushed mint leaves mixed in water before meals. It’s recommended not to eat mint leaves when suffering from acidity and indigestion because mint leaves aggravate these problems even more and make them worse.
Fennel seeds have carminative properties which help in relieving gas and bloating. Chew 2-3 teaspoons of fennel seeds after every meal to treat gastric-related problems.
Aloe vera juice
Aloe vera juice is one of those few natural juices which heals your body from within and promotes the process of digestion. It has anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce inflammation caused by gastritis. Consuming Aloe vera juice on a regular basis strengthens the lining of the gut and ensures smooth functioning of the digestive system. You can consume 2 tbsp of aloe vera gel diluted with 1 glass or water two times a day or even drink fresh aloe juice after mixing it with water. Avoid taking aloe vera juice if you have a history of gastritis or ulcers.
Vitamin C rich food
Vitamin C is essential for the body because it helps to increase the levels of acidity in the stomach which makes it difficult for bacteria to settle down. Also, vitamin C promotes the recovery process, recovery of cells, and heals wounds faster. Foods that are rich in Vitamin C include guavas, lemons, strawberries, oranges, bell peppers, etc. You can also take supplements but make sure they are natural ones without any fillers or additives since synthetic supplements may cause gastritis.
Exercise for gastric problem
Here are some exercises which will aid in problems related to your stomach.
- Exercise 1 – Bending With Side Twists: Lie flat with your back on the floor; bend one knee up towards chest while holding opposite elbow on opposite knee for support and twist from side to side to touch floor with opposite hand. Repeat at least 5 times.
- Exercise 2 – Knee To Chest: Lie flat with your back on the floor; bring one knee up towards chest and pull it closer while pressing opposite elbow to the knee. Repeat at least 10 times for better results.
- Exercise 3 – Crunches: Come down in a sitting position and curl your neck and upper body, bringing it close to your knees and stretching back out. Make sure you do not put much pressure on the neck or spine while doing this. Do this at least 4-5 times before going back to the starting position.
- Exercise 4 – Cat And Camel Pose: Kneel down on a mat and lean forward, bringing your head towards thighs. Keep back straight and let it sag but do not bend. Hold for at least 5 seconds before going back to the original position. Do this 2-3 times daily for best results.
- Exercise 5 – Squat: Stand straight with feet slightly apart; bend knees and bring your body forward, making sure you keep your back in a straight line. Try to keep it as close to the ground as possible before going back up to starting position.
Yoga for gastric problem
The most commonly used yoga pose for gastric problems is the plough pose. This pose helps in straightening the alimentary canal and also relaxes it. In addition to this, some useful poses include the following;
1) Viparita Karani
2) Vajrasana (there is a below-mentioned pose called Supta Vajrasana which can also be used for this disorder)
3) Bhujangasan (Cobra Pose) and the shoulder stand.
4) Supta Vajrasana: For this pose, you must lie down in shavasana position, then bring your right knee forward towards your chest while stretching out your left leg on the ground. Then using both hands press the right calf to straighten it thus allowing it to get into vajrasana position. Try not to allow your back get arched at any cost, maintain normal posture during breathing. This should be performed after completion of the half-round of jalandhara bandha. Repeat this for 10 times and then repeat the process with the other leg.
Best Ayurvedic medicine for gastric problem
To deal with this condition you should also use a treatment that is as natural as possible and has no undesired side effects. Here we will present some of the best ayurvedic treatments for acidity and gastric problem:
Triphala is perhaps one of the best-known herbal preparations in Ayurveda, however, it is also used widely in Unani and other traditional medical systems such as Traditional Chinese Medicine because it has been shown to be very effective. It contains Amalaki(Embelica officinalis), Bibhitaki (Terminalia bellirica) and Haritaki (Terminalia chebula). These fruits are used because they contain astringent tannins which help to cleanse the body and strengthen the stomach. Amalaki is a potent antioxidant, rich in vitamin C and well known for its rejuvenating effects. Bibhitaki is a tonic for the heart, lungs, and nervous system, while Haritaki treats piles, jaundice, diabetes, and urinary disorders.
This herbal formula contains extracts of amalaki, bibhitaki and haritaki together with cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum) bark extract which helps to control acidity levels in the stomach. It also alleviates intestinal spasms which are often associated with indigestion problems.
Guduchi or Tinospora cordifolia
This is used to treat a number of different conditions ranging from coughs and colds to diabetes, however, it also has an effective action against stomach disorders. It is included in the herbal formula Mahayogaraja guggulu which alleviates indigestion problems as well as a number of other digestive disorders.
Bael or Aegle marmelos
This fruit improves appetite and digestion and helps to relieve gastric reflux. It can be taken either alone or with mahayogarajaguggul which again will help relieve acidity along with a range of other digestive difficulties.
Tulsi or Holy basil
Tulsi is rich in antioxidants so will help protect the body from free radical damage. It has an anti-inflammatory action so will help to reduce abdominal pain and it is also effective against gastric ulcers. It can be taken as a tulsi tea which can be made by boiling the leaves in water for five minutes, adding some jaggery or honey to sweeten it if necessary.
Gastric problems can arise from a number of different sources. It isn’t always easy to determine the cause right away, but if it is something serious, chances are they will make their diagnosis clear during treatment. In most cases though, especially for minor problems such as heartburn or indigestion, doctors may not be able to pinpoint an exact and instead treat symptoms in order to regain harmony in the stomach. If you or your loved one is suffering from gastric issues, talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for your specific cases.