Coffee is not recommended for consumption if you've been diagnosed with gastritis because it contains both caffeine and acid. While you may think that you can safely drink decaffeinated coffee, you should avoid all types of coffee until your digestive system is back to normal. Decaffeinated coffee is highly acidic and can cause further irritation to the lining of your stomach. Talk with your doctor about implementing a bland food diet.
Gastritis is a general medical term that describes inflammation in the lining of the stomach. Inflammation in the stomach lining may have various causes. Your stomach is lined with a mucus membrane that acts as a protective barrier to the sensitive, soft tissue beneath. Anything that weakens the protective lining, such as acidic beverages or foods, can cause infection and inflammation to occur. The most common causes of gastritis include an infection of the H. pylori bacteria, the overuse of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory pain relievers and alcohol abuse, according to PubMed Health.
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Inflammation in the stomach can cause common symptoms associated with an upset stomach. Symptoms may vary in severity, depending on how inflamed your stomach lining is. Common symptoms include stomach pain, vomiting, nausea and loss of appetite. You may also feel full very fast and notice that your abdomen is swollen with bloating and increased gas. If you develop blood in your stools or vomit or if your stools turn black, call your doctor. These are signs of bleeding in the stomach, which can lead to further complications if not treated.
Decaffeinated coffee still contains a minimal amount of caffeine and as much acid as regular coffee, which can irritate the infected stomach. According to the Center of Science in the Public Interest, an 8-ounce cup of decaffeinated coffee contains between 3 and 11 grams of caffeine. Although this may not seem like a lot of caffeine, any amount of caffeine may trigger further irritation. If diagnosed with gastritis, also avoid acidic beverages, such as regular coffee, espresso-based drinks, sodas, fruit juices and any beverage containing citric acid, advises the University of Maryland Medical Center. Stick with primarily clear fluids that are caffeine-free and are low in acidity until your symptoms subside.
Implement a bland diet under the direction of your doctor. Bland foods that may help alleviate and prevent symptoms include bananas, rice, toast, applesauce, crackers, skinless chicken, fish, dry cereal, oatmeal and mashed potatoes. Avoid eating foods that are high in fat or fiber or that contain a lot of spices. Do not drink alcohol or use certain pain medications if you have gastritis because they may prolong your healing process.