Sticking with the digestion theme, let's talk about gastritis.
What is Gastritis?
Gastritis is any inflammation in the stomach that does not involve an ulcer, typically involving inflammation of the mucosa. Doctors have previously believed that gastritis is the result of excess stomach acid and used drugs to decrease the gastric juices. In 1983, researchers discovered that H pylori was the leading cause of gastritis. If you have gastritis, it means that the body’s protective functions are not working properly.
Gnawing or burning ache, pain in stomach that gets better or worse with food, loss of appetite, bloating, belching, hiccup, indigestion, nausea, vomiting, dark stools, feeling full even if you haven’t eaten much, weight loss.
Causes: There are many possible causes of gastritis: Alcohol, H. Pylori, NSAID use, smoking, chronic stress, bile reflux, drinking poisons or other caustic substance, Autoimmune disorder, Corticosteroids, cancer drugs, antibiotics, excess coffee, organ failure, severe stress or trauma.
The top three causes of gastritis
Working holistically is definitely a mindset shift. It’s a shift away from quick fixes and pills to finding out why something is happening looking at the whole person including areas that may not seem to be relevant right away. We are connecting dots.
I grew up in a household where my mother was a nurse. If there was an illness, there was a pill for that! Mom being in the healthcare field, you would think our diet was good, right? Well, not really. I grew up after the societal shift when housewives stopped cooking everything from scratch and began making microwave and TV dinners. Everything was quick food and I grew up not knowing there was a different way to eat.
So for me a move away from the Standard American diet to a more whole foods, plant based diet was a huge shift.
What happened for me to make the change? I was living a life where I was in pain all the time. Not many people were aware because I didn’t complain, but the pain was there and only kept getting worse. This was pre-internet…can you believe there was a time before the internet? I started reading books on headaches, the different types and how to try to ease the pain naturally which led me to hydration, diet, exercise.
These headaches didn’t happen overnight. It was due to my diet and lifestyle growing up, but my teenage years were probably what solidified my pain. I ate a terrible diet, lots of sugar and lots of takeout. My pain was a symptom…my body was telling me to pay attention. I was paying attention, it just took a little longer to figure out because the information wasn’t at my fingertips, I had to hunt for it. Back in the 90s, holistic, integrative and functional practitioners where not readily found around where I lived. They weren’t in the yellow pages, so I figured a lot of it out on my own.
I am grateful to where this journey has taken me. It has led to where I am now, helping people and feeling so much better in my 50s than I did in my 20s! My journey has not been linear, I don’t think any journey is. There are always ups and downs but in my case each veer off has taught me something…
I get to pass my knowledge on to you and I love when you put the pieces together. I ask my clients to come into each session with an open mind. Most of what we talk about requires that, there are so many things we do as a society that damages our health but are considered “normal”. I’m hoping to not only inform my clients, but you reading this. There are so many ways we can improve our health, it takes small changes and a big mindset shift!