Five Habits that Can Worsen Gastritis

Some common habits such as smoking, drinking, and eating an unhealthy diet can considerably worsen gastritis, which is why you should cut them out of your routine.
Five Habits that Can Worsen Gastritis

Written by Óscar Dorado

Last update: 27 May, 2022

Gastritis is a painful condition characterized by the inflammation or swelling of the stomach lining. In some cases, gastritis is caused by an infection, drugs, stress, or an autoimmune response. But do you know which habits can worsen gastritis?

Gastritis is usually mild. However, this condition can cause abdominal pain and stomach ulcers. Gastritis treatment focuses on treating the underlying causes and eliminating irritating substances.  Meanwhile, some simple lifestyle changes and the use of over-the-counter antacids can help solve this problem.

In most cases, gastritis goes away on its own. However, if you don’t properly, it can last a long time. In this article, we’ll take a look at some habits that can worsen gastritis.

Five Habits that Can Worsen Gastritis

1. Not Drinking Enough Water

A woman drinking water.

Water has a neutral pH. Therefore, drinking plenty of water helps control the acid levels of gastric juices.

However, you should avoid drinking too much water immediately before and after meals because it can be counterproductive.

Discover: Improve Your Water Quality at Home

2. Being Under a Lot of Stress

A man under a lot of stress.

Daily stress and anxiety can negatively affect stomach health and cause gastric mucosal inflammation. This can lead to stress-induced gastritis. Unlike other types of gastritis, it’s not caused by bacteria, but by a buildup of negative emotions.

Too much stress and anxiety causes the release of stomach acid, which leads to an excessive load on the stomach lining. Therefore, it’s advisable to practice relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation, as they can greatly help reduce stress.

Everyone has to deal with stress. People experience it in different ways and degrees every day. In small doses, stress is beneficial. However, too much stress can affect your physical and mental well-being.

In addition, stress can worsen gastritis because – when a person is under stress or anxiety – their blood cortisol levels increase, which alters the immune system responses and suppresses the digestive system. This is why digestive problems and anxiety tend to go hand-in-hand.

3. Smoking

Smoking can worsen gastritis.

This is one of the main lifestyle habits that can worsen gastritis. Smoking is a major risk factor in the development of various stomach-related conditions.

Cigarette smoking can decrease gastric mucosa’s healing ability and cause stomach ulcers.

4. Drinking Alcohol

Some friends drinking alcohol.

Excessive alcohol intake is the most common cause of gastritis. In fact, alcohol contains certain toxins that can irritate your stomach and cause inflammation when you drink too much.

If your stomach is already inflamed, drinking alcohol makes it bleed. This can lead to more serious conditions, such as stomach ulcers.

5. Unhealthy Diet

Unhealthy foods.

Finally, you should know that you should avoid other foods and substances to relieve or prevent gastritis symptoms. While diet and nutrition don’t seem to play an important role in the prevention or control of gastritis, dietary changes can help control gastritis-associated discomfort. Therefore, you should cut out spicy, fatty, fried, and processed foods from your diet.

In addition, high-fat dairy products such as heavy cream activate the secretion of gastric juices, thus worsening gastritis.

You should also avoid any foods that can be toxic or irritating, such as garlic powder, pepper, tomato, or acid drinks such as coffee. Even certain vegetables can worsen this condition.

Finally, remember that a healthy, balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle can reduce the risk of conditions such as gastritis. If you suffer from gastritis, we’re convinced that the tips we mentioned here will help you!

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

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  • Sipponen, P., & Maaroos, H. I. (2015). Chronic gastritis. Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology.
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  • Ma, L., Chow, J. Y. C., & Cho, C. H. (1998). Effects of cigarette smoking on gastric ulcer formation and healing: Possible mechanisms of action. Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology.
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This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.