4 Causes of Gastritis That You Can Treat on Your Own

Rather than pop a purple pill to mask gastritis symptoms, a gastritis diet can heal the gut naturally.

gastritis diet

Ridding yourself of gastritis symptoms will require a hard look at your diet... and which foods tend to affect you.

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Gastritis is inflammation or irritation of the lining of the stomach. Stomach inflammation and other discomfort and pain can occur suddenly (acute) lasting one to three days, or it can be chronic, lasting several days to weeks.

When searching for the causes of gastritis pain and discomfort look for:

  • Heartburn/indigestion (burning feeling in the stomach/chest)
  • Nausea or vomiting (sometimes vomiting blood or “coffee” like material)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal pain and/or bloating
  • Hiccups
  • Black, tarry stools

4 Main Causes of Gastritis

There are several reasons why a person could develop gastritis—chronic stress, for example, or an autoimmune disorder such as HIV, fungal infections, acid reflux disease, and more. But typically, gastritis symptoms start with one of four primary causes.

    1. Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria. Up to 50 percent of the world’s population is infected with this bacteria, although most people do not experience symptoms or even know they have it.[1] H. pylori can break down the lining of the stomach, causing gastritis and stomach ulcers.
    2. Conditions related to vitamin B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12 deficiency results when the gastrointestinal tract does not properly absorb vitamin B12, most likely due to chronic inflammation (gastritis). Therefore, the conditions that cause gastritis are the same as those that cause vitamin B12 deficiency: celiac disease (gluten sensitivity), Crohn’s disease, recent stomach surgery, recent infection, poor nutrition, thyroid disease, or pernicious anemia, a form of anemia that occurs when the stomach lacks a naturally-occurring substance called intrinsic factor needed to properly digest vitamin B12. (See our post “The Top B12 Foods for Every Diet.”)
    3. Medication use. Sometimes, gastritis symptoms stem from taking medications that cause stomach problems or even stomach bleeding: aspirin, NSAIDs (ibuprofen or naproxen), prednisone, chemotherapy drugs, or others.
    4. Acidic drinks, spicy foods, and other food culprits. Drinks such as coffee, alcohol, juices with citric acids, and spicy foods such as hot peppers can cause exacerbation of gastritis symptoms. But the real “cause” of gastritis is a consistent diet of food “culprits” (listed below).
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Conventional Gastritis Treatment

The conventional treatment for gastritis involves taking antacids or other drugs to reduce stomach acid. While these drugs work quickly to ease symptoms, chronic use of these medications can lead to severe problems, such as osteoporosis or a condition called hypchlorhydria (low stomach acid).

These University Health News posts offer more information on the effects of an acidic diet and how to help yourself:

A Gastritis Diet Corrects the Root Causes of Gastritis

Rather than pop a purple pill to mask gastritis symptoms and likely not provide a gastritis cure, a gastritis diet can heal the gut naturally. Home remedies for gastritis include eating a combination of healthy foods while simultaneously avoiding the food “culprits” on a daily basis; this is the key to alleviating symptoms of gastritis permanently.

1. Gastritis Diet: Eat foods that kill H. pylori bacteria.

  • Broccoli. A nutrient in broccoli called sulphoraphane has been proven effective by medical research to kill H. pylori bacteria in the stomach lining. It even works at killing strains of H. pylori that have become resistant to antibiotic drugs.[2] And, broccoli sprouts contain 20 to 50 times more sulphoraphane than the mature plant. If you do not like the taste of broccoli, you can purchase broccoli or sulphoraphane supplements online or at your local health food store. Since 50 percent of the world’s population has H. pylori–even though they may not know it –eating broccoli several times per week or taking supplements is recommended for everyone.
  • Garlic. Garlic is a broad-spectrum antimicrobial and antifungal agent, and H. pylori bacteria are highly sensitive to it. However, some people with chronic heartburn do not react well to garlic. If this applies to you, try eating small amounts garlic first (or take garlic capsules) and gradually increase the amount to tolerance.[3]

2. Gastritis diet: Eat foods that heal the gut and help increase vitamin B12 absorption.

  • Probiotics. Probiotics such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species are beneficial bacteria that colonize the soft lining of the intestinal tract and thus heal the digestive system. Taking probiotics helps increase the gut’s ability to absorb and digest nutrients. For people who have gastritis and vitamin B12 deficiency (above), eating foods with probiotics (or taking probiotic supplements) with B vitamins can help tremendously. Foods that contain probiotics include organic yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and sourdough bread.

3. Gastritis diet: Eat foods that reverse damage from medication use and ease gastritis symptoms.

Again, probiotic-rich foods are the most beneficial to reverse any gut damage. In addition to probiotics, particular foods have been found to both heal the stomach and ease gastritis symptoms of nausea, stomach pain, burning, bloating, and heartburn:

Also, you’ll want to eat foods high in vitamin A: liver, carrots, greens, spinach, asparagus, sweet potatoes, peaches, and apricots. Vitamin A is essential for the healthy function of mucous membranes and tissue repair.

4. Gastritis Diet: Avoid foods and beverages that exacerbate your gastritis symptoms.

Many people who suffer from gastritis know exactly which foods items exacerbate their symptoms, whether it’s coffee or chocolate, hot peppers or pasta.

If you don’t know which foods trigger your gastritis, then you need to find out. It’s easy to do—simply create a food diary. For two to four weeks, write down everything you eat or drink and note the exact date/time you eat it.

Simultaneously, write down any time you experience gastritis symptoms. After your food diary has been completed, notice correlations between your food consumption and the symptoms you experienced. For example, do you develop nausea or heartburn an hour after eating pizza? Or, do you experience bloating and cramping the day after eating breads or sweets? Once you figure out your specific gastritis triggers, you’ll know exactly which foods or beverages you should avoid.

How to Cure Gastritis: Follow a Healthy Gastritis Diet Permanently

Permanent gastritis relief and prevention will involve changing your lifestyle. While it’s not easy, with hard work, it can be accomplished!

On a daily basis, try following a gastritis diet that respects the integrity of the stomach lining. That is, eat whole foods with plenty of protein, natural fats, and fruits and vegetables, which provide your body with the needed nutrients to support healing.

And try to avoid the “food culprits” that can damage both your gut and your immune system:

  • Dairy (other than organic yogurt)
  • Soy
  • Corn
  • Grains
  • Gluten
  • Potatoes
  • Processed foods
  • Sweets
  • Sodas
  • Excessive coffee drinks
  • Energy drinks
  • Foods with trans fats

See also: “Gastroenteritis: What You Can Do to Protect Yourself.”



Originally published in 2013 and updated.

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Comments
  • sanjay n.

    man while healing progress ,wish to eat sweet ,and chocolate i facing this problems i just read beware of acid foods and chilli and peppers

  • Sanjay, you’re not alone! Try following these guidelines and be sure to tell us if it helped you.

  • George L.

    Dear,Doctor(s)

    Thanks for all good guides about gastritis.
    I would like what can I do next because after being proscribed for gastritis,it is becoming worse when I start taking the tablets.

    thanks.

  • George L.

    what are the advices of salt to a person with problem of gastritis

  • If I had apple cider vinegar, ginger or pineapple while I had gastritis, besides the feeling of having an active volcano in my stomach and esophagus, I would probably vomit out my whole stomach.

    I haven’t come across anyone who can tolerate these things during a bout of gastritis.
    Infact, it was apple cider vinegar that bought on my gastritis this time.

  • Anita G.

    i have lot of constipation problem. I am taking probiotic everyday, eating fruits and vegetables but no help. My DR. told me that my stomach has inflamation. What is herbal cure for that?

  • Yea Michael no kidding! They write these articles based on mumbo jumbo articles they’ve read. Apple cider vinegar is for people with low acid. Your right most of that would burn me up too. Stick to oatmeal, apple sauce, white rice, sweet potatoes and egg whites for protein. I’m going to try 1 caffeine pill in mornings because coffee is too acidic and green tea relaxes the lower esophagul valve letting more acid up in many cases. Unsweetened almond milk seems to work for me too. Try to go organic on everything above I mentioned if possible. Local coop store or Amazon.

  • Hanna R.

    This article is spreading false information! Much of what is written here is sheer nonsense. I suffer from gastritis myself (and so does half my family) plus I have a medical degree, and reading this just makes me shake my head.

    Pineapple does not help gastritis or ease the symptoms. It is one of the most acidic fruit out there and therefore one of the WORST things to eat if you suffer from gastritis. If I eat only a quarter of a pineapple I can count on pain and burning and sometimes vomiting and it often takes days until it goes away.
    Same counts for green tea. It contains caffeine. Caffeine is BAD if you have gastritis. I need only one cup and I immediately get nauseous.

    Then why on earth would potatoes be called “culprits”? Potatoes are one of the best things you can eat when you suffer from gastritis. They really ease your symptoms. And what’s wrong with gluten? This “thing” everyone has now about demonizing gluten, diary and other stuff is NOT BASED ON ANY SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE, meaning, pure nonsense unless you have lactose intolerance or celiac disease YOU ARE FINE with both diary and gluten. Oats, also containing gluten, are also one of the BEST things to eat when you suffer from symptoms because just like potatoes they protect the stomach lining from the acid.

    It also doesn’t hurt to eat sweets every now and then. As long as you do so in moderate amounts everything is fine. Sugar consumption is not affiliated with gastritis symptoms!

    And why on earth would corn and soy be bad? This doesn’t make ANY sense if you know anything about food chemistry and the human body. Dear lord I’ve barely ever read so much nonsense in one article. If someone is following the advice given here they can count on their problems getting WORSE.

  • I agree completely with Hanna R. regarding the diet. The foods they list here as good for gastritis are some of the worst for Gastritis. I have tried some of them based on articles like this. Big mistake. Vinegar is very acidic. Ginger and Tumeric are both spices that increase stomach acid. Pineapple contains lots of bromelain which is a digestive enzyme that irritates gastritis. Digestive enzymes made my gastritis much worse. I eat wheat and dairy with no problem. I stay away from anything acidic, spicy, and almost all supplements. I have read about so many supplements that are supposed to be good for gastritis and I tried them. 90% made me feel worse and the other 10% had no noticeable effect. Everything you put in your stomach can potentially irritate gastritis. I have made lots of mistakes over the past 2 years dealing with it. Now I know just to keep it simple. Lots of water and a plain diet, including fish, chicken, cereal, rice, applesauce, bread, yogurt, and carnation instant breakfast when I need extra calories.

  • Pleas tell me why these diets say no dairy they contdricte each other very confusing, every time I eat I am in terrible pain

  • The lady who when crazy over pineapple, gluten etc. every person is different. I have no reaction to pineapple. I do have reactions to processed sugar and foods. White potatoes bother me. People with celiac or gluten sensitivity do need to stay away from that or it will inflame your stomach. Soy and corn is because it’s the most processed junk fillers you can find – top 3 for GMO. Real soy should be consumed sparingly. I could go on but won’t.

  • LAIQUE A.

    i, got chronic Gastric in belgium docter does not give any medicine i have low level of acidity i live in Belgium please advise me what to or send mediclne i will pay .Thanks

  • I have had gastritis and a hiatal hernia since Nov. 2015. I have not had one complete day without some acid indigestion and/or nausea. I started a diet for acid reflux in April 2016 and thought I was on the mend, but started getting nausea again in September 2016. I feel hopeless! My Doctor keeps giving me anti depressants, but they all make me nauseated and I have to stop.

  • LAIQUE A.

    i have chronic gastric what is good for me docter here in belgium gives no madicine for tha so what
    thanks

  • Liquorice. I found this a great help no kidding try it for a few weeks it helped be a great deal..

  • Does extra virgin coconut oil help gas & bloating from eating too many mandarin oranges in
    one sitting. I sweezed about 7 mandarin oranges in glass of water..my stomache became bloated & gassey. I normally don’t have stomache or gas problems.

  • I’ve got more practical tips reading comments than the article. Yes many of the things said in the article don’t make much sense. Though acid producing foods are better for long term treatment. Probiotics work as well. Tried mastic gum and licroise.. both worked for me. ACV too works. If you have gastiritis now, bland foods as some of the commentors mentioned works wonders. Heal well.

  • Deanna K.

    I have used comprehensive gut health made by Rhodes that I purchased online at Amazon it has L-glycine, deglycerized licorice, and marshmallow in the capsules and it really really helped my stomach. I also take Slippery elm capsules and ginger to help with healing and nausea. I stopped all coffee because it really hurt and switched to tea with some Creamer in it in the morning. I have taken a caffeine pill if tea bothers me sometimes. I also drink tea with both camomile and peppermint herbal tea . Hope this helps it’s a terrible thing to have constant stomach pain and Dr’s keep putting me on prilosec and Zantac which has not really helped at all😢good luck to everyone

  • I have been suffering with gastritis for a few years now. I try to keep my body in an alkaline state by drinking water with squeeze of lemon or lime. I have heard that even though these are acidic fruits, they become alkaline when digested. My question is…Does this water with lemon or lime juice make the stomach more inflammed? I keep hearing and reading conflicting reports. Some say it is good and some say otherwise. Would appreciate your comments. Thanks

  • Hello guys how you been I have chronic gastric and i have burning of hear and by back after and before. now i am going to take omeprazole 40mg 30 caps. please give me advise if someone use it before. thank you so much

  • Randy M.

    Kat, my understanding is that lemon juice is Alkaline once it is absorbed in your system. However, it is very acidic when you drink it and it hits your stomach. This goes for most citrus fruits with Lemon being the most acidic. I tried it once based on an article I read stating that Lemon is alkaline and good for gastritis. I had immediate pain. If you are diluting it with lots of water you may not feel it hurting you, but I doubt it is helping your gastritis.

  • Randy M.

    Mary M. I have tried many herbal supplements to treat my gastritis. Most of them made me feel worse. I tried DGL licorice and Slippery Elm powder as these are the most recommended, and they didn’t hurt me, but didn’t help me either. I took high doses of them so I really gave them a chance. Some people say those two, in particular, do help so you might give them a try. They probably won’t hurt you.

  • Leonor N.

    I was just told I have gastritis, esophagitis, and have a hiatal hernia and diabetic, what the heck am I suppose to eat? Help!!

  • Hi,I was told I have bile reflux,in my stomach and my esophagus,acid reflux and gastritis,I’m nauseous most of the time,so I don’t eat much,I’m a coffee drinker,my doctor told me to stay away from the coffee completely,I’ve tried drinking water,it makes me sick,teas make me nauseated,I don’t know what to drink ,I’m afraid I will get dehydrated,someone please help.

  • I have found relief using a product called AMP Floracel. It is a derivative of the Aloe Vera plant. This has provided relief within a few days. Not cheap, but one can get relief. Taken together with deep breathing techniques should put you back in the driver’s seat.

  • I have tried everything and the only thing that is helping me is cabbage and carrot juice it heals in 7-10 days , i have had gastritis for years , this is the best.

  • AugustoIAH

    I think what is missing from this article is the following.
    – The foods listed as bad/culprits soy, corn, gluten are there because after years of dealing with gastritis its possible that you develop carbohydrate malabsorption. So these once healthy foods now contribute to other problems (SIBO, IBS, etc..) which could exacerbate your overall digestive health. It would be helpful if the authors understood this and explained this reasoning.
    – Seems the authors are confusing Gastritis with GERD, heartburn, LPR or something else. They don’t realize that we are dealing with “open wounds” that get irritated with almost anything but specially with Garlic, Oregano, Pineapple, ACV and Ginger.
    – Some of the foods listed as good for Gastritis work only for people taking medication (PPIs, H2, etc..) and can withstand the extra acid/irritation produced by these foods.

  • Gluten is BAD!! Why because here in the good old USA we have genetically modified all of our flour products to contain more than two to three times the amount of gluten than is naturally in them. Why do you think Wonder bread is so fluffy? You can’t bake like that in Europe because there flour isn’t genetically modified! Over half if our country is sensitive to gluten because of this! It’s also the largest food sensitivity we have. Not allergy sensitivity, yes there is a difference. Plus grains, oatmeal, cereals are you kidding me? THIS IS WHAT COWS EAT NOT HUMANS!!! Cows have three stomachs last I checked we have one! I don’t graze, and I surely don’t want to live on cow food! Why do you think in the last 60 years this country has an outbreak of obesity and diabetes? We live on crap that was NEVER meant for human consumption! Yeah let’s take out all the healthy fats and pure tons of sugar in our food and see what happens. You GET FAT and die! That’s what happens. Funny tumors live off sugar. You don’t eat sugar or carbs guess what happens? They starve to death. Google how many people have cured themselves of tumors brain tumors by not eating carbs! It’s amazing what REAL food does for your body. Half or more of the cancers we now have are CAUSED BY OUR DIETS!!! PS most gastritis aka stomach ulcers is caused by a bacteria that only takes two weeks of antibiotics to CURE! Yet 99% of the medical professionals prescribed you a little purple pill you have to take for the rest of your life, why? Because they get paid incentives from the drug companies to get you to spend hundred of dollars a month on maintenance pills. When all it takes in most cases is a damn antibiotic! There’s no money in that! Why cure anything if you can get people to take pills God the rest of their lives and make trillions off of them? PS potatoes, beer, yeast it feeds fungal growth! Why not just eat fertilizer?

  • PS ginger and turmeric are both ANTI INFLAMMATORY! Meaning they REDUCE inflammation! Doesn’t matter how spicy they are. If you but the actual root vegetables they aren’t spicy. I make my own turmeric pills and take it twice a day never once bothered my stomach and I’ve had an ulcer since I was 14! Plus after 34 years with it I’m really pissed to find out two Australian doctors won the Nobel Prize in 2005 for PROVING ulcers and acute gastritis are caused by a fungal infection! They proved this back in 1987! One got so pissed that the medical community ignored their research he actually infected himself, them turned around and cured himself with two weeks of antibiotics. So if you haven’t tried antibiotics you MIGHT want to go SCREAM at your lazy doctor for being paid by the purple pill company!!!

  • I have tried ginger chews and ginger extract capsules and they both hurt my stomach. I have also tried Turmeric capsules and they hurt my stomach. Ginger and Turmeric are both pro-motility agents and are often recommended to people with slow digestion. The reason is that they both stimulate production of stomach acid and enzymes. This acid and enzymes are what irritates gastritis. I had bleeding stomach ulcers at one time. For me, my stomach was far less sensitive with my ulcer than with my gastritis. The gastritis has been very difficult to manage. You just have to be careful with anything you put in your stomach, including spices that stimulate stomach acid.

  • I was diagnosed with gastritis and it dosnt act up all the time but when it does its so umcomfy and its last for days!!! It feels sensitive to the touch on my upper stomach and the discomfort is beyond then what i can explaine! It bother to bend twist lift-any movement involving my stomach bother greatly!! I get nauseous i get a headache it feels like morning sickness-what do i do?

  • Ginger O.

    The problem with our food is what man does to it! All the preservatives, the way dairy is pasturized, the way bread is made, gmo’s and harmful ingredients. Its ridiculous! We have to go as organic as possible, take probiotics to heal the gut, and consume less sugar. Yes! Less sugar! Someone said, “sugar doesn’t have anthing to do with gastritis”. Yes it does! Sugar is bad bacteria and eats the giid bacteria. Therefore, creating more problems with the gut. Caffeine and alcohol can cause inflamation, big time!

    Some people may have worse symtoms than others. I am one of those people! When my stomach swells up, I look 5 months pregnant!

  • Ginger O.

    GG, change your diet. Start taking probiotics. You have to get to the root of the problem. When the pain and discomfort gets unbearable, I lay face down flat on the floor for about 10 min. Works everytime.

  • Maryann

    I had an endoscopy yesterday after almost a month of intermittent vomiting and awful pain on my left side above my rib. The food hurt going down my esophagus into my stomach. The findings were chronic gastritis and the dr took a bunch of biopsies. Having a gall bladder ultrasound this week also. I have found a little relief with coconut milk and coconut water. I still have a 1/2 cup of coffee but with food and seem to be ok with that. I find cutting out heavy acidic fruits works. I eat a healthy diet anyway so I was surprised to find out how sick I have been. I am also on PPI and Carafate 4x a day which def reduces the stomach acid. Thanks for all your helpful comments.

  • hi have just been diagnosed with gastritis could edith d tell me the name of the antibiotic that cures this condition so i can approach my gp with it many thanks all my sympathy goes out to all with this awful condition many thanks

  • Megan F.

    For the past few years I have had difficulty working out in yard, then in 2015 it got harder and harder to breathe. After many tests, it was a CT scan that showed COPD, emphysema and scarring in my lungs. I quit smoking 8 years ago but the damage has been done. I got to a point I couldn’t catch my breath and was coughing so hard I thought the top of my head would blow off, nothing was really working to help my condition. Finally i started on COPD herbal formula i purchased from NewLife Herbal Clinic, i read alot of positive reviews from other patients who used the COPD herbal treatment. I used the herbal remedy for 7 weeks, its effects on COPD is amazing, all my symptoms gradually faded away, i breath very more freely now! (Visit www . newlifeherbalclinic . com ) I recommend this COPD herbal formula for all COPD/Emphysema sufferers

    Megan Flores
    New Jersey
    USA

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