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Chronic gastritis: what is it and what to eat

Chronic gastritis is an inflammation of the stomach lining, which lasts for more than 3 months and presents a slow and often asymptomatic evolution, which can lead to bleeding and the development of ulcers in the stomach. Gastritis can arise because of prolonged use of medication or bacterial infections, such as H. pylori, for example.

The treatment for chronic gastritis is done under medical guidance and usually involves a diet that must be strictly followed so that the symptoms of gastritis decrease or disappear.

Chronic gastritis: what is it and what to eat

How to classify chronic gastritis

Chronic gastritis can be classified according to the stage of the inflammation or according to the part of the stomach that has been affected.

According to the stage of inflammation, chronic gastritis can be classified into:

  • Light or superficial chronic gastritis, in which only part of the stomach has been affected, usually the outermost part, and represents the initial phase of chronic gastritis;
  • Moderate or atrophic chronic gastritis, in which the stomach is much more compromised, being considered a more advanced stage;
  • Gastric atrophy, occurs when the stomach wall is almost completely destroyed and represents the final and most severe phase of chronic gastritis.

The region of the stomach affected by chronic gastritis cab be:

  • Chronic antral gastritis, in which the final part of the stomach is affected and usually occurs due to infection by the bacterium Helycobacter pylori - see how you can be infected with H. Pylori and how to treat the infection;
  • Chronic gastritis in the center of the stomach, in which the inflammation is perceived in the central region of the stomach and usually occurs as a result of reactions to the immune system.

Depending on the type of gastritis, the gastroenterologist can determine the best form of treatment.

Main causes

Chronic gastritis has several causes, one may be the use of anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, bacterial and viral infections and Crohn's disease, which is a chronic inflammation of the digestive system that can cause symptoms such as irritation and intestinal bleeding.

Chronic gastritis is a common disease among alcoholics, smokers, patients with a prolonged illness or compromised immune system.

Symptoms of chronic gastritis

The symptoms of chronic gastritis are more subtle than those of common gastritis, and include:

  • Slight abdominal discomfort after meals;
  • Burning sensation in the stomach;
  • Nausea and vomiting;
  • Feeling of a full stomach, even when eating little;
  • Bleeding in the stomach, being characterized by black and malodorous stools;
  • Anemia, probably due to bleeding from the stomach or other region in the digestive tract.

These symptoms are not always perceived by you and there is usually suspicion of chronic gastritis when you report that you had had gastritis and now have anemia, although you are eating feeding correctly.

Stress induced gastritis also presents the same symptoms as chronic and classic gastritis, however there is no inflammation in the stomach and it happens due to emotional issues such as stress, anxiety and nervousness. It is therefore important to go to the doctor when the first symptoms appear to identify the cause and establish the treatment. See what are the symptoms and how is the treatment for stress induced gastritis.

What to eat and how the treatment is done

The treatment of chronic gastritis can be done with the use of gastric protective drugs, which are those that form a protective barrier to prevent gastric acid from reaching the walls of the stomach, facilitating the healing of wounds and reducing inflammation. See the most commonly used medication for treating gastritis.

In addition, it is necessary that you follow a strict diet in which you only consume cooked food, with few condiments and water. It is important to avoid spicy, greasy foods, sauces, alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, processed juices and sausages. Food changes are critical if the symptoms of gastritis are to subside. Learn what to eat in a diet for gastritis.

Home remedy for chronic gastritis

A great home remedy for chronic gastritis is holy thorn tea as it can relieve the symptoms of gastritis and acts as a natural antibiotic that helps in eliminating the H. pylori bacterium from the stomach, thereby decreasing the risk of ulcer and stomach cancer. Another homemade option is chamomile tea, which has properties that help decrease inflammation and relieve symptoms. See other home remedies for gastritis.


  • LONGO, Dan L. et al.. Medicina interna de Harrison. 18.ed. São Paulo: AMGH Editora, 2013. 2458-2459.
  • MAHAN, L. Kathleen et al. Krause: Alimentos, Nutrição e Dietoterapia. 13.ed. São Paulo: Elsevier Editora, 2013. 599-603.
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