As Hippocrates wisely stated thousands of years ago, "all disease begins in the gut," and this long-held medical wisdom rings especially true in the wellness world, particularly when it comes to inflammation. Bloating as a result of gastritis (irritation of the stomach lining) is among the most common health issues that can lead to everyday discomfort, which is why we tapped holistic nutritionist and health coach Carly Brawner for her top advice on the topic, including her best home remedies for stomach inflammation.
"The most common causes of stomach inflammation are bacterial infections, viruses, leaky gut, and chronic stress," Brawner tells MyDomaine. "Too much or too little stomach bile, inflammation from food allergies, anti-inflammatory drugs [like over-the-counter pain medications], and poor diet are other common culprits of gastritis."
If those jeans are starting to feel a little tighter after meals, you're experiencing tummy troubles more frequently, or you're gaining a few extra pounds as a result of gastritis, fear not.
Top Symptoms of Stomach Inflammation
"Gastritis symptoms vastly vary from person to person," Brawner says. A few signs to look out for include "indigestion, constipation, bloating, vomiting, and stomach pain before, after, or during meals. If you notice a burning sensation in your abdomen or find that you burp often, have multiple food sensitivities, or even experience anxiety, skin rashes, or loss of energy, you may want to consider getting treatment for stomach inflammation," she adds.
Brawner also explains that gastritis may also be connected to an overgrowth of h. pylori, a common bacterial infection. "By the time people reach their 50s, one in two people have an overgrowth of this bacteria," she says. "It can cause a host of problems, including suppressing stomach acid (which is necessary for proper digestion), ulcers, pain, and bloating."
The first step to counter stomach inflammation is to re-evaluate your diet.
How to Alleviate Stomach Inflammation
"For gastritis relief, I recommend that my clients do an elimination diet to figure out if any specific foods are causing indigestion or inflammation," Brawner recommends. "Many times, we find that something in the diet is inflammatory and problematic, [including] common culprits [like] gluten, dairy, sugar, legumes, and grains. Eliminating problematic foods, temporarily or permanently, brings improvement. If diet isn't the issue or a pattern of better and then worse persists, I usually ask that my client tests for bacterial overgrowths and parasites."
Here Brawner shares her four best home remedies for stomach inflammation:
- Drink water with lemon and one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar for every two cups of water throughout the day. "I don't recommend drinking lots of water with meals, [which] dilutes the stomach acid needed for digestion," she says.
- Drink ginger, peppermint, or chamomile tea one hour before or after meals to help soothe your stomach.
- "Many of my clients find that digestive enzyme and HCL supplements with meals are extremely beneficial for digestive and pain relief around eating," Brawner says.
- "Eat more slow-cooked meals, like [crockpot dishes], soups, and bone broth, which are all easy on the digestive system and can help reduce bloat and inflammation," she suggests. "Foods without preservatives, sugars, and chemicals are also best for gastritis prevention," she adds.
When to Get Pro Help for Stomach Inflammation
If you notice that your symptoms are becoming increasingly chronic and constant, that's a sign that you should address the issue with your physician, Brawner says. "Severe pain is also a good indicator to see a medical provider. Gastritis, indigestion, and stomach pain are all signs from your body that something is off. Without addressing the root cause of the problem, symptoms will persist and possibly get worse."