Gastritis is a common condition, which unfortunately affects a large chunk of society today. Gastritis is the inflammation of the stomach lining which may be caused by a bacterial infection or by a chemical reaction.
It manifests as a burning sensation in the stomach caused by an excessive secretion of hydrochloric acid (HCl), which may corrode the inner lining of the stomach if prolonged, and eventually affect other parts of the digestive system. Gastric problems may occur suddenly or gradually over time. Some of the symptoms of Gastritis include vomiting, abdominal pain and/or bloating nausea, loss of appetite, indigestion etc.
Gastritis can be caused due to a number of reasons such as excessive alcohol consumption, a weakened immune system, persistent, intense stress, bile reflux (bile flowing into the stomach), and illnesses, such as diabetes or kidney failure etc.
Simple tips on how Gastritis may be avoided:
- Avoid overeating. Eat only when you are hungry.
- Drink plenty of water (5-6 litres a day).
- Avoid drinking water before and after meals.
- Stop smoking.
- Avoid alcohol.
- Opt for bland, easy-to-digest, and nutritious foods.
- Eat at regular intervals, with light meals every 3 hours.
- Avoid spicy foods as they may cause heartburn.
- Maintain a low-fat, high fibre diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Eat a light dinner.
- Early to bed and early to rise, reduces the risk of secreting excessive acid in the stomach.
Eating smaller and more frequent meals is recommended if you experience frequent indigestion and burning sensation. Spicy and fatty foods must be avoided. Opt for green tea instead of carbonated and caffeinated drinks.
Recommended foods for Gastritis:
- Opt for skimmed, low-fat or fat-free dairy products.
- Beverages such as green tea, coconut water, carrot juice, Spinach juice etc.
- Whole grains, Wheat bran, unpolished rice.
- Lean meats and fish.
- Fruits such as banana, apple, cherries etc.
- Vegetable salads
- Olive oil or Vegetable oils.
- Including foods rich in fibre and flavonoids such as garlic, onion, ginger, cinnamon, kale etc. are also helpful for preventing the growth of Helicobacter pylori bacteria.
Yoga and Gastritis
As we know, yoga is a powerful workout for both the mind and the body. Practising yoga calms your mind and helps relieve stress. Yoga asanas can also help improve the health of the digestive system.
Yoga Poses for Gastritis
This pose is considered a quick therapeutic treatment for the removal of gas from the system.
- Kneel down keeping your lower limbs close to each other
- Your big toes should cross each other.
- Lower your body such that your buttocks are resting on your heels.
- Place your hands on your knees, and look forward.
- Turn your attention to your breathing.
- Hold this position for a minimum of 4 to 5 minutes
Viparita Karani is also known as “Legs up the wall pose”. This pose makes the back and abdominal muscles strong. It also neutralizes accumulated gas and helps release it.
- Begin the pose by sitting with your left side against the wall.
- Gently turn your body to the left and bring your legs up onto the wall. Use your hands for balance as you shift your weight.
- Lower your back to the floor and lie down.
- Rest your shoulders and head on the floor.
- Push your buttocks close to the wall.
- Let your arms rest open at your sides, palms facing up.
- Close your eyes.
- Hold for 4 - 5 minutes.
This pose is also very effective in tackling gas problems.
- Lie on the floor backside down and raise the hands over the head
- Keeping the feet together tightly at the arches with toes pointed towards the ceiling.
- Lift both legs in the air on an inhale, keeping the torso on the floor
- Allow the lower back to arch slightly if needed.
- The chin should be tucked towards the neck.
- Keep the legs together and straight, holding the breath for as long as is comfortable (do not bend the knees).
This pose helps strengthen the entire digestive system and gets rid of accumulated gas.
- Lie on your back on a smooth surface.
- Put your feet together while resting your thighs on the abdomen.
- Clasp your hands around your knees (as if you are hugging)
- Rock and roll from side to side three to five times then release.
These asanas will help you heal gastritis along with many other benefits. A healthy diet and proper yogic routine is the way to live a fit and happy lifestyle.