"Let's talk about what NSAIDs do in your body, and how to transition to a more holistic, safer way to deal with aches and pains in your body."
It happens daily for millions of Americans: waking up with pain and stiffness in joints, neck, or back. So you reach for the medicine cabinet, for an over-the-counter pain pill like ibuprofen, or aspirin, and within an hour, you start to feel relief.
But you've been doing this for a while now... and now suddenly your stomach is hurting. You know something is wrong, but you can't quite put your finger on it.
Today Dr. Nancy Lin, PhD, is talking about gastritis, a common side effect of using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Learn why gastritis occurs and what you can do about.
- 01:28: NSAIDs are not meant for daily long-term use, and they do have side effects
- 02:38: Gastritis is a common side effect of NSAID use
- 03:09: The Cox-1 enzyme protects the delicate lining of your stomach
- 03:46: Other causes of Gastritis
- 04:16: Symptoms of Gastritis
- 04:54: Remedy 1: Follow an anti-inflammatory diet
- 07:44: Remedy 2: Garlic extract supplement, or raw garlic
- 09:43: Remedy 3: Take a probiotic
- 10:42: Remedy 4: Green tea with Manuka honey
- 12:23: Remedy 5: Eat lighter meals
- 13:10: Remedy 6: Quit smoking
- 13:44: Remedy 7: Reduce stress
What are NSAIDs and What do They Do?
Somehow the danger of NSAIDs has not reached the public the way the opioid message has. These seemingly innocent over-the-counter drugs are available at every convenience store or gas station. But they are not meant for daily long-term use, and they do have side effects.
Let's talk about what these do in your body, and how to transition to a more holistic, safer way to deal with aches and pains in your body. Today, we're focusing on Gastritis.
Gastritis is an inflammation or irritation from the erosion of the lining of the stomach, a common side effect of NSAID use. You may have heard that NSAIDs block an enzyme in the body called COX-2, which results in stopping inflammation and pain. But it also blocks the COX-1 enzyme in your body, which is not good.
That's because COX-1 is what protects the delicate lining in your stomach and other parts of the digestive tract. Over time conditions like painful gastritis in the stomach can occur, and eventually ulcers or worse can develop if this enzyme is continuously blocked by taking NSAIDs.
Gastritis can come on suddenly, or it can develop gradually over time.
Gastritis can also be caused by other things, such as excessive alcohol consumption, or stress. People who have gastritis report a burning sensation, discomfort in the stomach, and feeling full after a small amount of food. Although unpleasant, gastritis is not typically considered a serious condition, but it can be, if it's not addressed.
When you have a flare-up of Gastritis, symptoms can include:
- Nausea or reoccurring upset stomach
- Abdominal pain or bloating
- Burning or gnawing feeling in the stomach between meals or at night
- A loss of appetite
- Vomiting blood
- Black or tarry stools
While there are instances where medical treatment is necessary to treat gastritis, many people find they can manage the symptoms at home. Here are seven home remedies for gastritis, recommended by gastroenterologists.
7 Home Remedies for Gastritis
Follow an anti-inflammatory diet
Like many of the other issues we have discussed, an anti-inflammatory diet can make a huge difference. Click here to download Dr. Nancy's anti-inflammatory diet ebook. Eat foods that will help your body repair itself. Since gastritis refers to inflammation in the stomach lining, consuming a diet that helps minimize inflammation is going to help tremendously. Inflammatory foods you want to eliminate from your diet include:
- Processed foods (pretty much anything in a package or with a label)
- Gluten foods
- Acidic foods
- Dairy products
- Sugary foods
- Spicy foods
Instead, indulge in some broccoli, Persian cucumbers, celery, berries, and other delicious anti-inflammatory foods.
Tip: the best foods are usually around the perimeter of the grocery store, not in the middle aisles.
Take a garlic extract supplement or eat more garlic
Research suggests that (in addition to warding off vampires) garlic can help reduce the symptoms of gastritis. Watch the video for Dr. Nancy's demonstration on peeling and crushing raw garlic. Use garlic on salads, on anti-inflammatory steamed foods with olive oil, or raw in a spoon with almond butter.
Try a probiotic
Probiotics can help improve digestion and encourage regular bowel movements. Probiotic supplements introduce good bacteria in the gut, and the digestive tract. Fermented foods like sauerkraut and miso also help the good bacteria in your belly. Incorporate these into your diet, and add a daily probiotic supplement like Smarter Gut Health, which includes the top 3 probiotic strains.
Green tea with Manuka honey
Manuka honey has all natural properties, and uses a low heat extraction that does not pasteurize the honey or kill any of the healthy enzymes in it. Put a spoonful of it in a cup of hot green tea to soothe your stomach. Manuka honey is typically found in New Zealand and is an amazing healer. It also contains antibacterial properties that fight infection, and is a favorite home remedy for treating coughs. It's a little bit more expensive, but worth it!
Eat lighter meals
Eating large, carbohydrate-heavy meals, puts a strain on your digestive system and aggravates Gastritis. Start by simply serving your meals on smaller plates to manage portions. Eating smaller meals regularly over the days can ease the digestive process and reduce symptoms of Gastritis.
Stop! No e-cigarettes or vaping either. Smoking and the overuse of pain killers will exponentially aggravate the Gastritis, and will further damage the stomach lining.
When you reduce stress, you reduce Gastritis flare-ups. You need to do this daily anyway, but it will be especially beneficial for managing Gastritis. Implement simple stress reduction techniques every day. Daily exercise helps reduce stress, as well as getting a massage, or even using an at-home massager. Even just sitting still and relaxing for a few minutes to clear your mind, doing yoga, and conscious breathing, are also great stress reduction techniques.
We hope these tips are helpful! Stay tuned for further discussion of NSAIDs in future videos and blogs.