If you’re reading this, that probably means you’re struggling with gastritis in one way or another. If I could, I would air hug you (because I know you’re probably too nauseous to be hugged right now) and I’d bring you a Zofran or a cozy blanket for you to stay wrapped in while you’re going through this.
Gastritis, otherwise known as inflammation of the gastric mucosal lining, is NO JOKE.
Symptoms can be more mild (I didn’t even know I had this at first) to more severe. I’ve experienced quite the range of gastritis flares and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. Truly. Most recently, I was dealing with debilitating nausea and stomach cramps and wasn’t able to eat for 4 weeks. I was in and out of the ER 3 times. I spent 4-8 hours a day in bed with my puke bucket or in my bathroom and I dropped to a whopping 87 pounds.
I genuinely thought I was dying and it wouldn’t be long before I was going to need to be on a feeding port.
By the grace of God, I was able to avoid that.
On my worst days, I would watch video after video and read anything I could find on gastritis and I kept finding the same generic advice. Or worse yet, people would talk about gastritis diets when I couldn’t even drink water without severe nausea.
So, I vowed that if I ever made it out of that alive, I would spend the rest of my life helping other people through it and helping people heal in general. Because no one should ever have to go through all of this alone.
I’m still in the process of healing, so I can’t claim to be an all-knowing expert, but I’m happy to share what helped me get through it, feel well enough to drink and re-introduce food again, calm the gut inflammation down, and all the other little bits and bobs no one talks about.
I hope this guide helps you get back to feeling like a human again!
Hang in there. Take it one day at a time. It does get better – I PROMISE.
If I was doing it all over again, here’s what I’d do (in order) to heal from a severe gastritis flare where even water bothered my inflammed gut lining.
DISCLAIMER: THE INFORMATION ON THIS SITE IS NOT INTENDED OR IMPLIED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE, DIAGNOSIS, OR TREATMENT. IF YOU OR ANY OTHER PERSON HAS A MEDICAL CONCERN, YOU SHOULD CONSULT WITH YOUR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER OR SEEK OTHER PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL TREATMENT. NEVER DISREGARD PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE OR DELAY SEEKING IT BECAUSE OF SOMETHING YOU READ ON MY BLOG OR IN ANY LINKED MATERIALS. IF YOU THINK YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY, CALL YOUR DOCTOR OR EMERGENCY SERVICES IMMEDIATELY.
Download the cara app and track everything
My recent gastritis flare started the night after I tried an infrared sauna for the first time.
I wish that night that I had started to track everything from the food I ate to drinks, medicine, supplements, etc. All of that information is both INCREDIBLY valuable to your doctor as well as for you to get to know your body and make your own deductions about what may be going on. It’s easy to forget how you felt yesterday, let alone how you feel today vs. a week ago.
I’d highly recommend downloading the FREE app Cara Care and starting to track everything from your food to your stool (it gets VERY detailed).
This will help you to relay the most accurate information to your doctors and avoid misdiagnosis.
Seriously, this is so important. So don’t keep reading until you download the app. I’ll wait. 😉
BONUS: Another really cool tool you can utilize here is the Ava Bracelet. (no affiliation)
The Ava Bracelet is actually a fertility tracking bracelet. I’ve been using it for almost 3 years to avoid pregnancy as well as to track my period. You basically wear it while you sleep and it tracks your resting pulse rate, skin temperature, breathing rate, sleep, and HRV ratio. If you happen to have an Ava Bracelet, or have been wanting to get something like this, it also acts as a great tool to measure those vitals and you can export the data to send to your doctor too!
Hydration is key
If you are so nauseous that you can barely get even water, or drinks, down… you are probably dealing with dehydration to some degree. Once you download your Cara app, this is the next thing I’d tell you to get on PRONTO.
Hydration isn’t just drinking more water. Even if you’re drinking a lot of water, you can still be dehydrated. You need electrolytes: magnesium, sodium chloride, calcium, and potassium.
Dehydration can be half the battle with your gastritis and a large cause behind your nausea, making it difficult for you to drink to try to get hydrated again.
So, when the dehydration is that bad and you’re finding that even drinking water is hard to get down, at that point I’d encourage you to ask your doctor about replenishing your liquids and electrolytes through an IV. You can basically get all the liquids and electrolytes you need delivered directly into your bloodstream so that you can calm some of the nausea down and get to a place where you’re able to comfortably drink again. This ALWAYS helped me be able to drink and eat a little more comfortably.
There are more and more IV places popping up and even many that will come to your home and do home infusions for you there if your nausea is too intense to go in and get it done. You do, usually, need a doctor’s approval for this.
If you’re able to find an IV center, a nurse to come to your home, or if your doctor’s office has an IV suite, I would encourage you to ask them about getting this done multiple times a week (if that would be okay with your health history). Especially if you’re severely dehydrated, just doing it 1x may not be enough to get you stable again. I found a home nurse who came to my home and just hooked me up to a liquid IV with electrolytes 3x a week and I tapered to 2x a week and then 1x in the span of 3-4 weeks.
I didn’t need her for very long, but she really helped me out of the woods when things were so inflamed and because she was a nurse, she was very knowledgeable and helped answer a ton of my questions about everything I was going through too!
If you can’t wait, though, and it’s currently 3 in the morning and you’re dry heaving or feel like you just can’t make it through the night… just go to the ER and they’re most likely going to give you an IV and take care of anything that’s immediately wrong. I was really anxious to go to the ER initially, but I felt so much relief when we went just to get rid of some of the nausea and to be re-hydrated. It makes SUCH a huge difference! Getting re-hydrated is really going to be the biggest thing for you to recover more quickly and get out of a severe gastritis flare.
Once you’re able to start drinking comfortably again, here are some of my favorite electrolyte-rich drinks that helped me stay hydrated:
- Watermelon Water. (They sell these at Whole Foods, Publix, and Walmart – it’s super light with no added sugars or fillers.)
- Coconut water. (My favorite brands are Thrive Market’s coconut water, Harmless, or Zico. Here’s an easy coconut water electrolyte drink recipe.)
- Marshmallow Root Tea. Marshmallow is an herb that’s been known to treat reflux and heartburn. This soothing tea coats the throat and stomach and is great to start having once you’re able to drink comfortably again. You can also add in a little Slippery Elm Bark for an added gut healing bonus.
- LMNT Packets. These electrolyte drink packets are a MUCH cleaner alternative to the Liquid IV packets you can find at most grocery stores. With minimal sugar, it’s easier on the gut. However, many of their flavors are citrus-flavored (which can exacerbate reflux/gastritis symptoms). If your reflux or gastritis is severe, I’d encourage you to use their unflavored packets. However, I can tolerate them fine when I’m not experiencing a gastritis flare.
- Organifi’s Red Juice. Organifi’s Red Juice was extremely hydrating for me during my gastritis flare and is loaded with antioxidant-rich superfoods. I drank this everyday, especially when I wasn’t eating, and it helped me feel like I was getting some level of nutrition in. (USE CODE STEPHWITT FOR 15% OFF.)
- Plain water! Drinking too many electrolyte drinks can actually be counterintuitive. Don’t forget to drink plain water occasionally too.
Find a good doctor (+ health team)
I can’t tell you how many crap doctors I’ve been through.
I’m sure you’ve been there.
Doctors who constantly interrupt you, don’t look you in the eyes, and some who outright laugh in your face when you bring up different questions or concerns.
You don’t want to trust someone like that with your health care.
Personally, I would HIGHLY recommend that your primary doctor be a Functional Medicine Doctor. Functional Medicine is where modern medicine meets holistic medicine. When it comes to the primary doctor I’m working with, I need to know they align with the values I have. I want them to address the root cause of my issues. That means they’re not pushing pills at me, they listen to my concerns, and they empower me to make health decisions as a team.
I’ve found that the doctors that do this are usually FMD, holistic specialists, etc. These typically don’t take insurance, but they get results… and if you’re in a severe gastritis flare, you want results.
You can search your area to find the closest FMD to you. Even if they’re a little far, you may still want to check them out to see if they do telehealth appointments.
While I’d recommend seeing someone in person the most, if that doesn’t work or you live in a remote area, another option for you is Parsley Health. With affordable plans and pricing, you not only get to meet with a doctor virtually, but you actually get a health coach as well for lifestyle and nutrition support! This is a great option for those that don’t have someone close in their area.
There are some other key medical professionals you may want to have on your health team as well.
- A gastroenterologist. Even though I have my qualms with gastros and I think the rate at which they push PPIs + antacids is ridiculous, I still think it’s important to have one. You need someone that’s going to be able to do scopes or colonoscopies, if needed, and there are some good ones out there! It’s important to have one of these on your health team, even if you’re not seeing them frequently.
- A chiropractor. This might seem “woo-wooey” if you’ve never been to one, but your spine does a lot for your entire body. The brain sends electrical impulses down the spine, which then communicates to different organs in the body. When your spine is out of alignment (there are curves, adhesions, scar tissues, and erosion of the tissue)… your body basically isn’t functioning at 100%. So, by bringing your spine back into alignment, you can actually improve the functioning of your digestive system as well as all other areas of the body.
- A trauma specialist. Trauma doesn’t have to mean you were abused or you were in some horrible accident. Those are forms of severe trauma, yes, but trauma is just a response to an event that a person finds highly stressful. Not every stressful event is traumatic, but the one’s that are get stored in our primitive brain mean. So any time we experience anything remotely associated with that event, we have this electrical charge of energy surging throughout our body, which messes with our stress hormones and creates somatic symptoms.
In other words, trauma (even if we’re conscious of it or not) is stored physically in our body. We may have unprocessed memories that are wreaking havoc on our digestion, immune system, etc. To learn more about this, see The Body Keeps the Score.
There are several things we can do to process this trauma and work it out of our body like EMDR work and visceral manipulation. I’ve heard acupuncture can be useful for this too, but can’t speak from experience on this.
- A nutritionist or Registered Dietician. If you aren’t getting as much nutritional support from your FMD as you’d like, seeing a nutritionist is a great option! They’ll really be able to walk alongside you as you aren’t sure what in the world you’re supposed to eat with gastritis. And they can custom create meal plans and supplement recommendations for you and your unique, individual needs. There are tons of quality nutritionists out there, but I HAVE to tell you about the absolute angel nutritionist who helped save me at the worst of my gastritis and who has actually overcome Barrett’s esophagus herself!
Most people don’t realize that when you struggle with digestion, it’s so much more than that.
When you can’t digest foods properly, it affects every other area of your health. You may have gastritis, but also dealing with constipation, headaches, chronic fatigue, bloating, anxiety, depression, etc.
If you are struggling with your digestion in any way, you NEED to buy this course.
(I literally have no affiliation it just absolutely changed my life.)
Mallory, a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and the creator of Digesting Wellness, has been an absolute angel in getting me back to being a functioning human being. We’ve actually been following each other since I started blogging 3-4 years ago and she’s gone on to become an NTP. She’s created this course (that is an actual God send) to teach you everything you need to know about your gut, acid reflux, GERD, gastritis, LPR, SIBO, constipation, bloating… you name it.
The course includes recipes, a flare bible, supplement recommendations, and the Facebook group is the only facebook group I actually use. I know my fair share about gut health, but it was so hard to navigate knowing what to do when I had gastritis, nausea, constipation, and bloating. (i.e. Normally, I’d take ginger for nausea, but ginger can exacerbate gastritis, so I was in a stalemate) Mallory’s course helped me cut the confusion and know how to slowly + gently begin to calm my inflammation down so I could get back to doing the things I knew were good for gut health.
I 110% would recommend this course to anyone who is lost with their digestive issues and if you’re a severe case, without a ton of support from your doctor, I would look into working with her 1:1 as well to get to the root of your digestive issues. She is a practitioner as well with the ability to run and read different labs like stool tests, food sensitivity panels, HTMAs, etc. And she has the sweetest demeanor ever. She’ll definitely help guide you in your healing journey and I love her positive outlook on life and healing! I can’t recommend her enough. I had to throw this in because I truly believe I’m alive today in part because God brought me to her and this course.
Drink clean water
I wish I could stress the importance of this to you.
Please don’t skip past this point. It’s one of the more important changes you need to make, especially if you’re in the midst of a flare right now.
We NEED water to survive. While you can go a long time without eating, you can’t without drinking.
If your gut lining is SO inflamed that you’re having trouble even drinking water, part of that reason could be that your water is toxic.
And this isn’t just me being a crunchy hippie. Most states have fluoride in their water… which is a known neurotoxin and causes a myriad of health problems. Like… you’re not supposed to swallow your toothpaste, but you can drink fluoride water?
But that’s just fluoride.
That’s not including lead, chlorine, copper, heavy metals, viruses, parasites, pathogenic bacteria, pesticides, etc. That can ALL be lurking in your water… slowly making you sicker and sicker.
And your Brita isn’t filtering that stuff out.
You want to make sure you are getting the cleanest possible water to nourish your body and reduce any inflammation in the digestive tract.
The best water filter I’d recommend, especially if you’re having a severe flare, is a Berkey water filter. We have the Big Berkey and it is great for a couple. If you have kids or more family members in your house, I’d definitely recommend getting a bigger size – unless you have an under the sink water filtration system, in which case, the Big would probably be okay for 3-4 people. I use our Berkey to wash and rinse all my produce too since we’re in an apartment and can’t install anything like that.
I put off getting one forever because it’s a pretty penny at $300 with the fluoride filters, but the filters last for like 3 years, so honestly it’s about what you’d pay for a fridge pitcher to have to replace the filters every 3 months and you’re getting WAYYYYYY more effective filters too. There’s also a travel size if you’re single or just want to try something less expensive out first. As a water snob, I can tell you it’s worth it and tastes like spring water.
However, if that’s crazy out of your budget right now, you can also buy spring water from the grocery store. I don’t love the waste element of that, since you’d have to go through bottles, but if you bought the larger gallons, there would be a little less waste. When I have to drink store-bought water, I usually opt for Zephyrhills or Mountain Valley Spring Water (glass bottles available).
While there are pharmaceuticals that can help you survive for a period of time, I think true healing lies in getting to the root of our digestive issues and incorporating healing foods + lifestyle changes to reverse disease.
Nutritional supplements can be an amazing tool to help us heal while our body is down for the count.
Everyone has very different, individualistic nutritional needs, though. I’m not saying you need to take any or all of these supplements. These are just general supplements that are known to help address gastritis issues and underlying causes. I will not share doses or when to take each one as I’m not a practitioner and it is unethical for me to make recommendations to anyone.
(If you need that support, see the doctors and health team section.)
I’m sharing these in hopes that they can give you some hope for moving forward and crawling your way out of the worst of your gastritis. And you can run these by your doctor or health team to see if they’d be a good fit for you.
Homeopathy is a gentle system of healing. Homeopathic medicine is basically when a substance is diluted until little of the original substance remains.
This makes homeopathic medicine much gentler than other drugs or supplements. Most people will either feel a benefit or no change at all. There’s little risk of die off or a negative reaction with homeopaths, but you STILL need to run everything by your health team.
The first “supplements” I started on were homeopaths, mostly because you just place them under your tongue and wait till they dissolve. This was the easiest thing to do for me since I was so nauseous.
The two life-saving homeopaths for me were Arsenicum Album and Nux Vomicum.
These helped me wean off my Zofran (anti-nausea medication) and calm things down enough to where between this and the IVs, I could start drinking again without intense nausea or reflux.
You can read more about suggested homeopaths versus their conditions here.
Collagen + Gelatin
Once I was able to start drinking without feeling like I would throw it all back up, I would sprinkle in some collagen into every one of my drinks.
Collagen and gelatin have been known to treat leaky gut syndrome by protecting the gastric mucosal lining AND has improving the integrity of the gut.
I prefer to add collagen to my drinks as it dissolves very easily and is virtually tasteless. Gelatin blends nicely in smoothies or once you can start eating again, you can make these gut healing blueberry gelatin gummy bears I created to get your daily dose of gelatin in. Once you’re feeling better, you can even add gelatin to your coffee or virtually anything (I just find this doesn’t blend as well and can leave weird, gelatinous chunks in whatever you’re eating – so I prefer collagen).
I find that they’re less expensive and they have great sourcing. They also don’t have a ton of additives in their other products, which is something I’ve been disappointed in with Vital Proteins.
Like we talked about before, when there is trauma or stress present, your immune system has most likely been compromised.
Immunoglobulins are antibodies produced by white blood cells. They reduce immune and inflammatory responses by recognizing and binding to antigens, bacteria/viruses, and help to destroy them. Immunoglobulins support your gut’s immune system as well as the lining in your gut.
You need both a healthy microbiota and a healthy immune system to have a healthy gut. So, this is really supporting that immune system + is really best taken alongside a probiotic (which we’ll get to in a second).
My favorite immunoglobulins are:
- Microbiome Lab’s MegaIgG2000 (practitioner prescription required) as you can pour these into your drinks easily.
- MegaMucosa (powdered version – practitioner prescription required)
- Immune Shield Powder by Gluten Free Society
These are typically well tolerated, but you still probably want to discuss how to titrate the dosing on these with your health team.
Probiotics are live, beneficial bacteria that live in your gut and they provide a beneficial health benefit to their host. They’ve been shown to support the treatment of SIBO, H Pylori, Candida, IBD, IBS, GERD, and autoimmunity in general.
Most healthy people can get their probiotics from food and keep their gut microbiota healthy, but things like excessive antibiotic use, stress, trauma, parasites, toxins, etc. can really mess with our gut and our probiotic count.
So, supplementing with a probiotic while you’re healing can do WONDERS for your symptom reduction as well as truly healing and getting to the root of your gut problems.
However, beware that marketers are aware of the benefits of high quality probiotics and there are TONS of lesser quality options available to you. 95% of probiotics on the market can’t make it past your stomach’s harsh environment, so you want to make sure you’re getting one that’s actually effective.
My all-time favorite probiotic is MegaSporeBiotic. This thing has taken away the craziest of symptoms for me and has a wonderful, therapeutic dose of probiotics, so you’ll only be able to order it through a practitioner. However, if your doctor doesn’t distribute Megaspore, the next best recommendation I have is Just Thrive probiotic. It’s Megaspore’s sister company and it’s just as effective. You can use the code STEPH10 for 10% off Just Thrive probiotics.
This is one of the holy grails for gastritis. With Mastic Gum, Zinc Carnosine, Aloe, and DGL, it treats any potential H Pylori infection that may be lurking as well as reducing inflammation in general.
It takes around 3-4 days to start “kicking in”, but once it does… the relief is insane. I’ll usually take this in apple sauce because the pills are larger.
I’m not sure how I missed this supplement during previous flares, but this is my new favorite supplement. It’s like Pepcid without the headache.
It tastes AWFUL, so I wouldn’t recommend using Gastrazyme until your nausea has subsided, but you get used to it. You can also take a pill cutter and cut it into fourths, so you’re not getting so much of the chewable tablet on your tongue.
Gastrazyme has a lot of the same properties that are in cabbage juice, which are great for healing ulcers and the tummy in general. This is a supplement that may co-react with something else you’re taking… so, as with everything else, run it by your doctor.
Lily of the Desert Stomach Formula
I kept seeing this pop up on some people’s videos that had bad gastritis and I was curious about it, so I ordered it from Thrive Market + wow does it truly taste terrible. (I still have to hold my nose and sip on something else a few times before I’ll breath again.)
The first night I took it, I slept like a baby. I actually only did 1 TBSP before my dinner and I slept SO good. Like, there was a significant reduction in my LPR cough.
Again, I’d wait on this till your nausea subsides because it’s truly the worst tasting thing, but it works.
Ganoderma Lucidum, otherwise known as Reishi, is known as the “King of Herbs”.
During the Han Dynasty, this mushroom was reserved for the royal family alone because of it’s healing properties and it’s been used for thousands of years since.
A simple pudmed search reveals over 3,000 studies on Ganoderma Lucidum. This herb has anticancer, antiulcer, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties… just to name a few. Ganoderma is also immunomodulating, which basically means it acts like your body’s thermostat. When it’s too cold, it turns the heat on. When it’s too hot, it turns the air on. It brings your body back to balance.
Most Reishi you see is grown in a lab.
Organo’s sourcing for their Reishi products is the real deal. It takes 5-7 months to be able nurture the logs these grow off, in nature, to create these capsules and their other Ganoderma products. If you don’t have issues with mushroom, I’d definitely try adding this mushroom into your life.
If your gastritis flare isn’t as severe (or once it starts to subside), Organo also sells Reishi-infused coffee.
I prefer to get my Ganoderma this way because I just hate swallowing pills. It’s easy to just stick a little bit into my smoothie or to get it in by drinking a cup of coffee. If you’re sensitive, I’d start with the Black coffee (contains Ganoderma Lucidum) and eventually you can try King coffee (contains Ganoderma Lucidum spores, much more potent).
The therapeutic dosing of the Reishi in the coffee cancels out any negative effects caffeine may normally have. So, drinking this I haven’t had any jitters, trouble with anxiety, etc. It’s the only coffee I’ll drink! I absolutely LOVE it.
For general immune support, or trouble breathing with your LPR, you can ask your doctor about a nebulizer.
I bought this little travel size one for $50 on Amazon. It’s super easy to use and clean. You can ask your doctor to see if an albuterol or another breathing treatment may be helpful if your LPR cough is so bad it’s keeping you up or it’s hard to breathe at night (and a dehumidifier isn’t cutting it).
Food + mindset tips
Hopefully, once you’ve incorporated some of these steps and have added some of these gut healing supplements in, your nausea will start to subside and you’ll start to feel hungry again!
It can be hard to know where to start with food reintroduction and everyone is SO different with their own bioindividualistic, nutritional needs. I can’t create recipes for everyone that will work. Some people feel great on a BRAT diet, others strictly protein, and others strictly fruits and veggies.. Here are some tips to just get you started.
1. Forget everything you think you know about gut health.
You may already know that turmeric is anti-inflammatory, bone broth is healing for the gut, or that ginger can help with nausea. But… even anti-inflammatory foods like turmeric, ginger, or bone broth can be irritating to your gut at first. Personally, all that sounded good to me when I was hungry again was a BRAT diet.
Bananas, rice, crackers, keeping it as PLAIN as possible.
Other people can’t tolerate any starches or carbs and strictly feel good on protein.
Others can do a mix.
I wish I could tell you which foods are safe for you, but we’re all so different. Just make a list of what foods sound good to you, both because you have an appetite for them and you think it’d go down well.
2. Think about hot vs. cold foods.
While you’re thinking of foods to reintroduce, think about hot foods vs. cold foods. Is there one that sounds more appetizing than another?
Oftentimes, cold foods can be easier to get down and that’s what I was craving. Think popsicles, smoothies, etc. Once I started eating more, and developing my hunger cues, it wasn’t long before I added in warmer foods again. Go with your gut and listen to what your body is craving.
3. Eat + drink 30 minutes away from food.
Eating and drinking together during your meals may exacerbate your systems. It’s a good rule of thumb to drink 30 minutes apart from your meals (before and after).
4. Stop eating 3 hours before bed + don’t lie down after eating.
It’s all gravity, friend. You don’t want to eat and lie down. Your stomach acid will come right back up. Especially before bed. My cut off time is to stop eating by 7. I try to be done eating by 6-6:30 most days, though, because I am tired by 9-9:30.
Also, don’t bend over about 30 minutes after you eat. I try to walk around for a bit, clean some dishes, stand by the counter and do some computer work or answer emails. Just stay upright.
5. Consider an all liquid or pureed diet for a period of time.
If your gut is severely inflamed, or you want to experience healing faster, you may want to help it out and puree or blend all of your food for 1-2 months. When you puree or liquify your food, it’s like it’s predigested. Your stomach doesn’t have to work so hard to digest it and it can help calm things down. Then, once things are calmed down, you can slowly reintroduce solid food again.
You can puree just about anything – meats, rice, pastas, potatoes, soups. The next few weeks worth of videos in my “gastritis eats” series are going to be a series of recipes I’m doing on this, so it should give you some ideas to help you out! I know it can be overwhelming if you’ve never done it before.
6. Add in broth or stock.
It’s touted as a gut healing miracle and everyone tells you to drink it (for good reason, there are a lot of benefits for your gut to drink bone broth).
But if you’re like me… maybe it sounds unappetizing or difficult for you to get down.
You can hide broth in your purees (soups, potatoes, rice, chicken)! When it’s a base in my soup, it’s WAY easier for me to get down and if you’re histamine intolerant, try stock instead of broth. It’s much lighter.
7. Conquering food fears.
It can be really scary to start eating again after food has made you feel so ill for so long. It’s important to remember, there are no “good” and “bad” foods. There’s just food. Yes, there is food that brings us closer to or further from disease prevention, or foods that are more anti-inflammatory than others, but for the sake of just getting something in your body, forget what you know about food for a second.
I’m hardcore emetephobic and was really scared to eat and get sick, so aside from going REALLY slow, it helped me to sit down for my meal and do 3 deep belly breaths. After that, I’d say some sort of affirmation like “I’m nourishing my body and I’m healing” 2x and I’d slowly eat, chewing even my pureed foods until I was done.
This has helped me to not be so scared of food and develop a healthy relationship with it as well as being more in tune with my body and my natural hunger cues.
I did have to press on and sometimes eat a little more than I wanted to sometimes as my stomach had to expand so I could increase my intake each day, but I never overdid it to the point where I felt sick. Just a little more than the day before. And never if I felt nauseous or any pain.
8. Stop focusing so much on what you can’t have.
Sometimes I find myself getting frustrated when I post a recipe or a video and I’ll get a comment from someone that’s like “I can’t eat this because it triggers my reflux.”
I’m kind of reading these comments like… okay? I don’t know what you hoped to accomplish by that comment because you’re only reinforcing a negative feedback loop you have around eating certain foods.
I mean, yeah, maybe oatmeal isn’t for you and that’s okay, but just don’t give it the time of day then. Just note that it’s a problem food for you and move on. Focus on the GOOD. Focus on what you CAN have. Focus on what IS nourishing you.
I promise you’ll be happier for it and when you have that mindset shift, you’ll be able to heal faster when you’re not just sitting in negativity.
Stress can be such a large part of gastritis and ulcers.
Obviously, this is hard to do when you’re in the thick of it, but as you begin to feel better, try to do at least 1 thing a day that makes you happy and fills you.
Read a book, spend time in the Word, get a haircut, get a mani-pedi, take a walk around your neighborhood, bike, watch a funny movie, have friends or family over, go to the farmer’s market, cook or bake, take a bath, water your plants. Keep it simple at first as you’re building up your strength, but just slow down and do something that feels good!
I’ve already mentioned some helpful things you can do to help subside the nausea, but wanted to compile them here too, just so they’re all in one place. Here’s what helped me through the debilitating nausea.
- Zofran. Yes, it’s a prescription drug, but you gotta do what you gotta do for a bit to get food down. You can start to wean off this as your gut heals and nausea subsides.
- Nux Vomicum. A homeopath that helped me wean off the Zofran. Great to have on hand for nausea or food poisoning.
- Sea Bands. This doesn’t just work for pregnancy or motion sickness. Try this if you’re having gastritis nausea!
- IVs. Nausea can often be caused by dehydration. Ask your doctor about replenishing your fluids or go in to the ER if it’s an emergency.
As you begin to heal, you may start to notice you’re dealing with constipation on top of your gastritis. Oftentimes, digestive issues are closely intermingled. You can have SIBO or Candida while also dealing with gastritis. And constipation can make you super miserable. Here are some tips that may help relieve your constipation and get you MOVING again!
- Hydrate! Whether that’s drinking more water or getting liquid IV support, dehydration can cause constipation, so it’s not abnormal to experience it when all of this is going on. Make sure you’re getting hydrated somehow.
- Get a squatty potty. The squatty potty is a tool that puts you in the correct position for fast and easy elimination. It eliminates any colorectal “kinks” you may have while going #2. This helps a ton with constipation, straining while eliminating, hip tightness (it actually is like a stretch for your hips), + more. It has really changed the game for my constipation this go around. I hadn’t heard of it before, so just thought I’d share it! If you don’t want to shell out $20, you can always literally squat while you poo, but I prefer the squatty potty. 😉
- Ask your doctor about an enema. When your gut is SO inflamed/sensitive, it’s probably best to hold off on enemas. You can always try it again later once things calm down. But when they do, these can be helpful in getting things moving and coffee enemas can clean things out and flush the liver.
- Magnesium Citrate (capsules) + Triphala. These have been my helpful “natural” tools to get me moving. I prefer this to the mag citrate liquid which is really harsh and can trigger painful diarrhea. I find it’s really gentle on my gut.
- Move. My constipation was at my worst when I was bed-ridden. Once my nausea subsided, I started to walk around the house, work from my kitchen counter (so I could stand), or take breaks to wash dishes. As I got better, I started to walk around our neighborhood. Move (as much as you can) to keep things moving.
- When all else fails… lactulose. It’s a great stool softener and works when nothing else does. I’d hold off on this, though, until you’re eating. When you’re not, it can just cause cramping and pain. This is also a prescription medication, so you’ll have to talk to your doctor about your constipation to get this. They usually recommend more gentle options like Miralax first, but I find when my constipation is that bad, lactulose is the only thing that gets the job done.