Gastritis can wreak havoc on your stomach, causing uncomfortable symptoms such as hiccups, heartburn and nausea. If left untreated, this condition can literally eat away the lining of your stomach and cause painful peptic ulcers. While ground beef generally doesn't cause gastritis, there are a few things you should keep in mind when it comes to meat and stomach problems.
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Gastritis is a gastrointestinal disorder characterized by inflammation of the stomach lining, which often leads to pain and stomach upset. The most common cause of gastritis is infection by a bacteria called H. pylori, or Helicobacter pylori. Other causes of gastritis include autoimmune disorders, long-term use of pain relievers such as naproxen and ibuprofen, alcohol abuse and excess stomach acid due to stress. Gastritis is commonly diagnosed with an endoscopy, breath test, stool test or biopsy.
H. Pylori and Beef
While it is possible to become infected with H. pylori through ground beef, the chances of this happening are relatively slim. According to an article published in the "Journal of Food Protection," researchers from the Department of Animal Science at Texas A&M University found no H. pylori present in a selection of retail beef cuts. The researchers further found that H. pylori dies quickly in both refrigerated and frozen ground beef, thereby concluding that H. pylori infection from beef is not a primary cause of H. pylori infection in humans.
The University of Maryland Medical Center notes that high-fat foods may increase stomach lining inflammation, exacerbating the symptoms of gastritis. While recovering from gastritis, try to limit the amount of fatty ground beef you eat. Choose lean ground beef with the smallest amount of fat possible, or cut out fatty meat entirely until your stomach recovers.
If you are experiencing symptoms of gastritis, see a doctor to get tested for H. pylori and, if necessary, receive the necessary antibiotics needed to eradicate this bacteria. If you are not infected with H. pylori, a doctor can determine the cause of your stomach discomfort and take steps to remedy the situation. Additionally, talk to your doctor about vitamin B12 testing, as gastritis can cause your body to become unable to absorb vitamin B12, an essential vitamin found in red meat.