Gastritis And Stomach Ulcers: Natural Supplements To Treat The Inflammation

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Gastritis is an inflammation of the stomach lining that can cause pain and lead to more serious complications if left untreated. It’s often a result of infection, chronic use of pain relievers, or excessive alcohol consumption. Nutritional supplements help to ease the symptoms of gastritis and support stomach health. From coating the stomach with soothing herbs to replenishing essential vitamins and minerals, these supplements can play a vital role in gastritis management. This article will explore the various nutritional supplements that can benefit those suffering from gastritis, providing insights into their properties and how they work to promote digestive wellness.

About Gastritis And Stomach Ulcers

Gastritis is defined as the inflammation of the stomach lining. It can occur suddenly (acute gastritis) or develop gradually over time (chronic gastritis). The stomach lining plays a crucial role in protecting the stomach from the corrosive effects of stomach acid. When this protective barrier becomes compromised due to factors like infection with Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), prolonged use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), excessive alcohol consumption, or stress, it can lead to gastritis. Symptoms of gastritis may include abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, and a burning sensation in the upper abdomen.

On the other hand, stomach ulcers, also known as gastric ulcers or peptic ulcers, are open sores that develop on the inner lining of the stomach or the upper part of the small intestine. They often result from the same underlying factors as gastritis, including H. pylori infection and NSAID use. Stomach ulcers can cause more intense and persistent pain, often described as a gnawing or burning sensation. They may lead to complications if left untreated, such as bleeding or perforation of the stomach lining.

Dietary supplements can play a valuable role in improving the healing process for gastritis and stomach ulcers. While they are not a substitute for medical treatment, some supplements have shown promise in alleviating symptoms and promoting the restoration of the damaged stomach lining. These supplements often work by reducing inflammation, soothing irritation, and supporting the body’s natural healing mechanisms. Understanding the mechanisms behind their actions can help individuals make informed choices about incorporating these supplements into their wellness routines, alongside medical guidance, to aid in the healing journey.

Nutrition and Lifestyle Approaches to Help Heal Gastritis And Stomach Ulcers

Certainly, here’s an elaboration on each of the diet and lifestyle approaches to heal gastritis and stomach ulcers:

  • Limit NSAIDs: Minimizing the use of NSAID drugs is essential for protecting your stomach’s delicate lining. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Celecoxib, Diclofenac, and Naproxen can irritate the stomach lining and contribute to the development of ulcers. If possible, limit your use of these medications or seek alternatives under the guidance of a healthcare professional.
  • Stress Management: Chronic stress can worsen gastritis and stomach ulcers by increasing stomach acid production and reducing the effectiveness of the protective mucus layer. Incorporating stress-reduction techniques into your daily routine, such as yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises, can promote relaxation and reduce the impact of stress on your stomach. Managing stress is an integral part of the healing process.
  • Food Considerations:
    • Avoid Trigger Foods: Gastritis and stomach ulcers can be aggravated by certain foods. It’s essential to identify and eliminate these trigger foods from your diet. Spicy dishes, citrus fruits, coffee, and alcohol are common culprits. Spices and acidic foods can irritate the stomach lining, while alcohol and caffeine can increase stomach acid production. By avoiding these trigger foods, you can reduce the likelihood of flare-ups and allow your stomach to heal.
    • Opt for a Gastritis-Friendly Diet: Adopting a diet that supports stomach health is crucial. Focus on consuming foods that are gentle on the stomach. Incorporate fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, which provide essential nutrients and promote digestion without causing excess irritation. Lean proteins like chicken, turkey, and fish are easier for the stomach to process. Whole grains offer fiber and can help maintain a healthy digestive system. Probiotic-rich foods like yogurt introduce beneficial bacteria that aid in digestion and overall gut health.
    • Small, Frequent Meals: Instead of three large meals a day, consider consuming smaller, more frequent meals. This eating pattern reduces the strain on your stomach. Smaller meals are easier to digest and can minimize the discomfort associated with gastritis and stomach ulcers. Additionally, it helps stabilize blood sugar levels, preventing spikes and crashes that can exacerbate symptoms.
  • Stay Hydrated: Proper hydration is essential for maintaining a healthy stomach lining. Drinking enough water throughout the day keeps your stomach well-hydrated, enabling it to produce the protective mucus barrier that defends against stomach acid. Dehydration can make the stomach more susceptible to irritation and damage, so staying hydrated is crucial for healing.
  • Stop Smoking: Nicotine stimulates the production of stomach acid, which can worsens gastritis and stomach ulcers. Quitting smoking is highly recommended for individuals with these conditions. It not only helps in healing but also reduces the risk of complications and recurrence.
  • Prioritize Sleep: Quality sleep is crucial for the body’s healing and recovery processes. During sleep, the body repairs damaged tissues, including the stomach lining. Ensure you get sufficient restorative sleep to support your body’s ability to heal and cope with gastritis or stomach ulcers.

Dietary supplements are not designed to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This article aims to offer valuable insights into which nutritional supplements have undergone scientific study and shown promise in supporting specific health conditions. We break down the research, so you can work with your medical providers to make informed decisions about adding supplements to your health regimen. For personalized advice tailored to your needs, we recommend consulting with a registered dietitian in addition to your primary care provider.

Check with your physician when adding supplements. While supplements are generally safe for most people, do not add nutritional supplements without your physician’s specific approval if you are pregnant or nursing, are undergoing cancer treatment, have a history of organ transplant, liver or kidney disease, or take medications that interact with supplements.


Nutritional Supplements For Gastritis and Ulcers

  • Multivitamin:
    • Vitamin B12: Gastritis can lead to a Vitamin B12 deficiency. This is often due to chronic inflammation that impairs the stomach lining’s ability to produce intrinsic factor. Intrinsic factor is a protein made in the stomach lining that is required for absorbing of B12. B12 deficiency can cause fatigue, weakness, constipation, and neurological changes. Vitamin B12 supplements can replenish this vitamin. They help prevent anemia and boost energy levels. They also support the proper functioning of the nervous system. For people with gastritis on a vegetarian or vegan diet, Vitamin B12 supplements are critical, as B12 is mainly found in animal products. A multivitamin is a better choice than to take Vitamin B12 alone. [PMC4725084]
    • Zinc: Zinc is a trace element crucial for immune function and wound healing. Again, a multivitamin is a better choice than to take zinc alone. Researchers state, “Zn deficiency results in an increased sensitivity to oxidative stress and have a higher risk of musoca damage in inflammation.” [PMID: 20698135]
    • Anti-Inflammatory Nutrients: Vitamins A, C, D, E, K, along with minerals such as zinc, selenium, copper, and magnesium, play roles in reducing inflammation.
    • Healing Nutrients: Vitamins A, C, D, E, K, and B complex, as well as minerals like zinc, selenium, copper, iron, and magnesium, are all important for promoting healing.
  • L-glutamine: L-glutamine is an amino acid that serves as a building block for protein in the body. Both nutrients play a vital role in healing the stomach lining damaged by gastritis. Zinc accelerates the wound healing process, and L-glutamine supports the regeneration of the stomach lining. Together, they may reduce inflammation and accelerate the healing process in gastritis, improving the overall recovery time and promoting better digestive function. [*] [PMC5454963]
  • Slippery Elm Bark: Although evidence is anecdotal, [PMID: 31289950] slippery elm is an herbal remedy with a long history of use for soothing digestive discomfort. When ingested, slippery elm bark forms a gel-like substance that coats the stomach, providing a protective barrier against irritants and may act as a prebiotic [PMC6065514] to reduce inflammation in the GI tract. It can ease irritation and reduce the painful symptoms caused by gastritis, such as burning or gnawing feelings. Slippery elm bark is often available in powder form and can be taken as a tea or mixed with water, providing a gentle, natural way to support stomach health.
  • DGL (Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice Root): DGL is a form of licorice root that has the glycyrrhizin component removed. The glycyrrhizin in natural licorice is known to cause high blood pressure in some people, but, with DGL, this is not a problem. Licorice has been used traditionally in herbal medicine for its anti-inflammatory properties. DGL can reduce inflammation in the stomach lining, alleviating the discomfort and pain of gastritis. It also contains compounds that coat the stomach, providing a soothing effect. This dual action of reducing inflammation and coating the stomach makes DGL a good supplement for managing gastritis. [PMC7348626]
  • Aloe Vera Juice: Rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, aloe vera juice has a calming effect on the stomach lining. It helps in reducing inflammation, promoting healing, and soothing the irritation associated with gastritis. Regular consumption of aloe vera juice not only offers relief to those with gastritis but also supports overall digestive health. It may improve nutrient absorption and support regular bowel movements. Its cooling and healing properties make it a good choice for various gastrointestinal issues. [PMC4087681]
  • Marshmallow Root: Similar to slippery elm bark, marshmallow root is known for forming a protective coating on the stomach lining. It assists in soothing the irritation, burning, and discomfort that often accompany gastritis. The mucilage content in marshmallow root provides a gentle, natural remedy that supports the healing process. It can be consumed in various forms, including teas or capsules, and is often combined with other soothing herbs for enhanced benefits. [PMC6912529]
  • Ginger: Ginger has been recognized for its ability to soothe the stomach, particularly for individuals with gastritis. Its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties can reduce irritation in the stomach lining and provide relief from symptoms. Ginger also supports digestion by promoting digestive enzymes, which may be impaired in those with gastritis, and it is well-known for its ability to reduce nausea. [PMC8839470] Drugs.com states that Ginger has been used in clinical trials in dosages of 170 mg to 1 g 3 to 4 times daily for IBS.
  • Peppermint Oil: Peppermint oil offers benefits for gastritis sufferers by relaxing the muscles of the stomach and intestines. This relaxation can help alleviate cramping or discomfort associated with gastritis. Additionally, peppermint oil’s anti-inflammatory nature may aid in reducing inflammation in the stomach lining, offering further relief from symptoms. [PMC5814329]
  • Probiotics: The balance of gut bacteria can be significantly disrupted by gastritis, leading to a host of digestive issues, including bloating, irregular bowel movements, and discomfort. Probiotics, the beneficial bacteria, help in restoring this balance by competing with harmful bacteria and promoting a healthy digestive environment. Available in various strains, probiotics can aid in the relief of gastritis symptoms and support long-term digestive wellness. The way probiotics work includes making substances that can stop or kill H. pylori (a type of harmful bacteria) or fight with H. pylori for the place where it sticks to the stomach lining. Regular intake can also strengthen the immune system, enhancing the body’s ability to fight infections. [PMC6206577] Probiotic foods are likely to be even more effective. Read our Full Article on Probiotics to select the probiotic product that might be of most benefit to you.

Are These Supplements For Gastritis Safe?

These supplements, including L-glutamine, Slippery Elm Bark, DGL (Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice Root), Aloe Vera Juice, Marshmallow Root, Ginger, Peppermint Oil, and Probiotics, are safe for individuals with gastritis. They have a long history of use in traditional and alternative medicine for soothing gastrointestinal discomfort and promoting digestive health. These natural remedies are well-tolerated by most people and are unlikely to cause adverse effects when taken as recommended.

Medication Interactions

  • Diuretics and Antiarrhythmic Drugs: Aloe Vera Juice may interact with these medications, potentially affecting their absorption and effectiveness.
  • Anticoagulant/Antiplatelet Drugs: Ginger may interact with these drugs, potentially increasing the risk of bleeding.
  • Medications for Diabetes and Blood Pressure: Ginger may interact with these medications, so monitoring and dosage adjustments may be necessary when combining ginger with them.
  • Medications That Reduce Stomach Acid Production: Peppermint Oil may interact with these medications, potentially affecting their absorption.
  • Medications for Gallbladder Conditions: Peppermint Oil may interact with certain medications used for gallbladder conditions.

Supplement Interactions

Interactions between supplements can occur, and it’s essential to be aware of potential effects when combining them. Here are some interactions that these supplements might have with other dietary supplements:

  • L-Glutamine: L-Glutamine is generally safe when used alone, but combining it with other amino acid supplements may alter absorption rates. It’s important to consult with a healthcare provider when considering amino acid combinations.
  • Slippery Elm Bark: Slippery Elm Bark is not commonly associated with specific interactions with dietary supplements, but it’s advisable to take it separately from other supplements or medications to ensure optimal absorption.
  • DGL (Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice Root): DGL is generally safe, but it’s recommended to avoid taking it simultaneously with other licorice-containing supplements, as it may lead to excessive consumption of glycyrrhizin, which can cause adverse effects like high blood pressure.
  • Aloe Vera Juice: Aloe Vera Juice is generally safe, but its laxative effect may enhance the laxative properties of other supplements, potentially leading to diarrhea or gastrointestinal discomfort. It’s advisable to use it separately from other supplements.
  • Marshmallow Root: Marshmallow Root is not commonly associated with specific interactions with dietary supplements, but taking it separately from other supplements or medications may ensure optimal absorption.
  • Ginger: Ginger is generally safe, but when combined with other supplements or medications that have potential blood-thinning effects, it may increase the risk of bleeding. It’s important to consult with a healthcare provider when considering such combinations.
  • Peppermint Oil: Peppermint Oil may interact with other supplements or medications that reduce stomach acid production. Using it separately from supplements that affect stomach acid may be advisable.
  • Probiotics: Probiotics are generally safe, but taking them in conjunction with certain dietary supplements may influence their effectiveness. For example, taking probiotics and certain antioxidants simultaneously might reduce the antioxidant’s benefits. It’s best to consult with a healthcare provider when considering combinations.

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Food First!

Although this article discusses supplements in detail, don’t forget that we are absolutely committed to the “Food First” approach to nutrition. When it comes to your health, the totality of your eating habits far surpasses the impact of individual nutrients or any single supplement you consume. Even though this article doesn’t delve into the broader picture of your overall diet, it’s crucial to keep this element at the forefront of our minds. Your food needs to provide all the vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals to nourish your body systems down to the cellular level.

Food choices, rather than supplements, are the most critical factors for a healthy gut microbiome. These trillions of tiny inhabitants in your gut affect your brain waves; they orchestrate your immune system. They possess the power to create molecules that can switch genes on or off and are even capable of synthesizing neurotransmitters. Opting for organic foods and steering clear of plastic packaging (including those labeled BPA-free) is a smart move to limit toxin exposure. The sum of all these parts leads to a powerful conclusion: the ultimate key to your health lies in the quality and balance of the food you consume. Supplements are secondary.

To Sum It Up

Gastritis can disrupt the stomach’s ability to absorb essential nutrients, leading to deficiencies that aggravate the condition. Nutritional supplements provide a targeted approach to fill these nutritional gaps in the management of gastritis. Supplements like Vitamin B12 can help replenish essential vitamins, probiotics can balance gut bacteria, and others like zinc, L-glutamine, slippery elm bark, and DGL can play a role in healing and soothing the stomach lining. Incorporating these supplements can support overall digestive health, providing relief and promoting recovery for those struggling with gastritis.


This Article is Not a Substitute for Medical Advice

Dietary supplements are not designed to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The Supplement Sciences website seeks to provide comprehensive access to the most relevant supplement information along with convenient online ordering. We do not provide medical advice and cannot guarantee that every product suggested is completely without risk. Since each person is unique in their health history and medication use, it is important to discuss supplements with your personal physician. Specifically, pregnant women and individuals being treated for cancer or liver or kidney problems must consult their physician about every nutritional supplement they plan to take. People taking medications for the treatment of HIV or with a history of organ transplant must not take supplements without consulting with their physician.



This Article is Not a Substitute for Medical Advice

Dietary supplements are not designed to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The Supplement Sciences website seeks to provide comprehensive access to the most relevant supplement information along with convenient online ordering. We do not provide medical advice and cannot guarantee that every product suggested is completely without risk. Since each person is unique in their health history and medication use, it is important to discuss supplements with your personal physician. Specifically, pregnant women and individuals being treated for cancer or liver or kidney problems must consult their physician about every nutritional supplement they plan to take. People taking medications for the treatment of HIV or with a history of organ transplant must not take supplements without consulting with their physician.


About the Author

Stephanie Figon, MS, RDN, LD

Creator of Supplement Sciences and NutriScape.NET. As a dietitian since 1992, Steph has had experiences in consulting, 15 years in clinical, and has operated a private practice nutrition counseling office for since 2011. Log in to comment and save this article on your board or send your comments to reviews@supplement-sciences.com

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