Gastritis is a health problem that occurs when the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, or H. pylori, damages the mucus membranes that coat your stomach, notes the Johns Hopkins Children's Center. Gastritis is characterized by a dull stomach ache or pain and other symptoms. The precise mechanism of H. pylori transmission between people is unknown. Certain nutritional drinks, especially herbal teas, may be helpful in treating this health problem. However, you should always review the merits and drawbacks of nutritional drinks with your doctor first.
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H. pylori infection, though a common cause of gastritis, is not the only precipitating factor for this health problem. According to "The New York Times Health Guide," gastritis may also be caused by consuming excessive amounts of alcohol and the long-term use of certain medications, including naproxen and ibuprofen. Less common causes of this health condition include prolonged and severe stress, viral infections and certain autoimmune disorders. If you have gastritis, you might feel pain in your upper abdomen, lose your appetite and experience nausea and vomiting.
Nutritional drinks are consumed for a variety of reasons. Some people consume nutritional drinks to assist weight loss, recover quickly from exercise bouts or to improve their nutritional status. Examples of contemporary nutritional drinks include Boost, Benevia, ONEsource, Isopure and Ensure. The manufacturers of these drinks list numerous health benefits associated with their consumption, although their effectiveness in treating conditions, such as gastritis, is unknown. At least one of these drinks, Ensure, states that it is a liquid nutritional supplement containing a special blend of prebiotics and antioxidants that encourages proper digestive tract health. Consider avoiding nutritional drinks that contain chocolate or caffeine, as these substances may exacerbate your gastritis. Discuss this type of nutritional drink with your physician.
Herbal teas may be particularly helpful in treating your gastritis. In his book "The Natural Pharmacy," medical doctor Alan R. Gaby states that the following remedies -- which may be consumed in tea or drink form -- may be helpful for this health purpose: licorice, wood betony, slippery elm, marshmallow, bladderwrack, goldenseal and chamomile. Drinks containing significant amounts of vitamins A and C and beta-carotene may also be beneficial. Gaby recommends that you avoid alcohol consumption if you have gastritis.
Teas containing chamomile may be among the most helpful nutritional drinks in treating your gastritis. Gaby notes that chamomile tea contains apigenin, a substance that helps damaged mucus membranes heal. This substance also inhibits the actions of H. pylori, and chamazulene -- another active constituent in chamomile -- helps mitigate harmful free radical activity in your body. The use of chamomile tea as a nutritional drink in combating gastritis may require further scientific research testing using randomized controlled trials.
Gastritis is a condition that may best be managed using conventional, allopathic treatment measures. Nutritional drinks and other natural treatment approaches may be helpful in supporting your other gastritis treatments, but you should always clear the use of this therapeutic modality with your family physician first. Some nutritional drinks may contain powerful medicinal ingredients that cause profound effects within your body. Ask your doctor about the safety and efficacy of nutritional drinks in treating your gastritis.