Whether it destroys your appetite, gives you heartburn or simply makes you uncomfortable, gastritis can be an extremely unpleasant condition. When a painful inflammation spreads across the stomach’s inner lining, it has little opportunity to heal as it comes into contact with foods and beverages several times throughout the day. To encourage proper healing of gastritis, your doctor might recommend avoiding any type of acidic food or beverage, which may include grape juice.
On the inside of the stomach, a thin layer of mucus and acid-producing cells forms the lining. Along with stomach acid, these cells also produce digestive enzymes. When the acids and enzymes combine, they work to break down food and prepare it for digestion. The mucus provides a protective coating around the stomach wall, preventing it from the harsh effects of the stomach acid. Occasionally, this stomach lining becomes inflamed – this is medically referred to as gastritis. Sometimes, the inflammation remains insignificant, but the stomach lining is riddled with erosions, ulcers and bleeding sores – this is medically referred to as erosive gastritis.
According to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, gastritis is most often caused by an infection of the bacteria Heliobacter pylori. This specific type of bacteria is often transmitted through contaminated food or water sources, particularly in areas of poor sanitation or dense populations. Gastritis might also be caused by infections from viruses, fungi or parasites. In regards to erosive gastritis, the most common cause is long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs. Additional causes include severe illness, stomach trauma and long-term use of alcohol, cigarettes or cocaine.
Many patients with gastritis experience no symptoms and are unaware they have the condition. Some people, however, experience upper abdominal pain, heartburn, loss of appetite, persistent nausea and vomiting. If the stomach lining is bleeding, the person might also find blood in the stool or vomit. Patients with chronic gastritis might eventually develop peptic ulcer disease, stomach tumors or gastric cancer.
Like many other fruit juices, grape juice is considered an acidic beverage. In fact, the 21st Century Dental website claims that a specific brand of grape juice has roughly the same acidity level as a soft drink. However, the Drugs.com website labels grape juice as a relatively “low acid juice,” when compared with other types of fruit juice. If you have gastritis or are prone to developing gastritis, speak with your physician about whether grape juice should be included in your diet. In severe cases of gastritis, your doctor might recommend drinking only water and mild herbal teas to prevent further irritation of the stomach lining.