Singapore is a melting pot for a variety of sumptuous cuisines. One can go on a daily gastronomical adventure—get an American breakfast, Thai food for lunch, and Chinese delivery for dinner. While the palate can be easily pleased with a burst of flavorful feasts, the gut does not always follow suit. If your food enjoyment is often disrupted by abdominal pain, bloating, or indigestion, you may want to visit a gastritis specialist in Singapore to get your gut health’s checked as you may be suffering from a condition called gastritis.

What is Gastritis?

Gastritis is an acute or chronic condition that affects the lining of the stomach. When gastritis happens, the stomach’s mucosa, which is a lining of mucus that serves as protection from the stomach acid, becomes inflamed due to damage. Bloating, indigestion, nausea, and stomach ache are usually experienced when this happens.

There are two types of gastritis: Erosive (reactive) and Non-erosive.

  • Erosive (reactive) – This type of gastritis not only causes the stomach’s lining to inflame, but it also results in its wearing away. 
  • Non-erosive – This type of gastritis only inflames the lining of the stomach and does not compromise its nature. 

Gastritis may also vary depending on its duration. It can either be acute or chronic.

  • Acute gastritis usually happens suddenly and the inflammation can be major.
  • Chronic gastritis occurs long-term and the inflammation of the stomach’s lining can go on for an extended period or number of years when not managed.

Symptoms of gastritis include:

  • Appetite loss
  • Bloating
  • Nausea
  • Pain in the upper abdomen
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Stool that is black and tarry
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Vomiting

What are the factors that cause gastritis?

There are several factors that cause gastritis. These triggers include:

  • Autoimmune disease
  • Bacterial infection
  • Digestive disorders
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Old age
  • Smoking
  • Stress

What diet should a person with gastritis follow?

The symptoms of gastritis can be minimized or eliminated by avoiding food that can cause irritation to the stomach’s lining. By doing this, your body can heal faster and restore your digestive health. Here are some tips about food and beverages that you should include more into your diet and those that you should steer clear of.

Eat this: Fibre rich foods

Food that are rich in fibre can do wonders for the gut’s health and ability to digest food. They promote the function of good bacteria in the digestive system, which helps in keeping inflammation away. Low-acid fruits and vegetables, beans, legumes, and whole grains are good sources of fibre.

Not that: Foods that are fried and high in saturated and trans fats

Foods that are fried or cooked in butter can aggravate cause or worsen the stomach lining’s inflammation. When cooking food, it is best to use other methods such as baking, boiling, or steaming.

Eat this: Probiotic foods

Fermented foods are excellent sources of probiotics. Probiotics improve the overall gut health by filling the stomach with “good” bacteria and impedes the growth of the H. Pylori bacteria, which is the common cause of gastritis. Examples of fermented products are kimchi, kefir, kombucha, and sauerkraut. Yogurts are also filled with probiotics, but be sure to choose one that is low in fat and sugar. 

Not that: Dairy products

Too much consumption of foods that are high in fats can damage your digestive system. It is best to avoid foods that are high in fats, such as heavy creams, butter, and cheese. 

Drink this: Beverages that are non-caffeinated, non-dairy, and contain little to no acid and sugar

Clean drinking water is the best choice when you want to have a healthy gut and body. Teas that are made with herbs and some spices can also be beneficial for the stomach lining as these help reduce inflammation. Get yourself a cup of green tea, ginger, turmeric, or rose hip when you feel your stomach rumbling due to gastritis. 

Not that: Acidic, alcoholic, and sugary beverages, coffee, milk

Drinks that have caffeine, dairy, and are high in acid and sugar can aggravate inflammation of the stomach’s lining. It is best to avoid any kind of alcoholic beverages, coffee, energy drinks, fruit juices that have a high citrus content, and sugary drinks. 

When should you get medical help for gastritis?

Gastritis that is not severe and happens occasionally usually does not need immediate medical attention. Any discomfort felt during this time may be relived by over-the-counter antacids. Antacids, such as Tums and Rolaids, contain calcium carbonate that help bring relief from inflammation. However, if your gastritis symptoms happen almost everyday and are getting worse over time, this is a signal that you consult with a gastritis specialist. When left untreated, gastritis can lead to further complications that can place your health at risk. 

What to do prior to your doctor’s appointment?

Begin with securing an appointment with a gastroenterologist. A gastroenterologist is a doctor that specializes in conditions, diseases, and disorders that affect the digestive system. Here’s what you can do to prepare for your consultation:

  • Ask for pre-appointment instructions. Call your doctor’s clinic and ask if there are things that you should be mindful of doing days before your consultation. Your doctor may advise changes or restrictions to your diet.
  • Bring any medical test results that you may have. If you have undergone any medical examination or diagnostic test that you think may be helpful, bring them on the day of your appointment for your doctor to check.
  • Keep a diary of your symptoms and how often you experience them.  This will help your doctor assess your situation well. 
  • List down all of the medications that you are taking. This list should also include vitamins and supplements, their dosage, and how often you take them.
  • Write down your questions. Your initial appointment with your doctor is the best time for you to ask about things that concern your gut health. Ask about what tests you need, lifestyle changes that can improve your health, and/or alternative and advanced treatments available. 

Andrea Digestive Clinic

#21-11/12 Royal Square at Novena 101

Irrawaddy Road Singapore 329565

+65 6264 2836