How I cured my gastritis

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When I got diagnosed with mild gastritis (but no H. Pylori) and esophagitis, I looked all over the internet to find what to do. I did not find many accounts of people who have cured themselves successfully and how they did it. So I thought I would write my story once I am cured. Here it is. If you have cured yourself from gastritis too, please share your experience below as well.

Many people ask how long it takes to be cured. At first I started on dexilant for a month but I did not see any improvement. After a month I kept taking dexilant and I started the low acid diet in parallel. I got much better in 2-3 days. After two months on dexilant and one month on the diet, I felt completely good. Then I stopped the dexilant cold turkey and got a lot of pain and acidity back in my stomach. Now I regret I did not take the dexilant a little longer as my stomach was obviously not healed and not strong enough to go through the rebound effect of stopping dexilant. I regret also that I did not stop dexilant slowly taking it every other day for a week, then every three days for a week, .... I felt anxious about taking a medication that has so many side effects taken long term and I wanted to stop immediately, which was not reasonable.

Anyway there I was back at the beginning with stomach pain and acidity day and night. I felt pain related to the esophagitis as well which really scared me. I hesitated to take dexilant again but I decided to try to cure myself the natural way. Below I describe what I did. I got cured in approximately two months, getting slowly better week by week. After two months of natural cures I had no stomach pain anymore and no excess acid, I was able to sleep again, felt like a new healthy (and lighter -- I lost a few pounds) person. However after those two months, I felt that I needed to follow the diet another month for my stomach to get strong and be able to handle a less strict diet.

THE CURE

Books

Most of what I did is summarized in two books which I found very useful:

The first book is "Dropping acid: the reflux diet cookbook & cure" by Jamie Koufman. This is the book I based my diet on. The only disagreements I have with the author regard dairy products that I stopped taking as they make the stomach produce more acid (very clear for me), and the use of ginger, manukka honey and aloe vera which I find too irritating and/or acidic (and I don't feel that they help). Also she does not talk about salt which is known to be irritating for the stomach lining in excess, I felt an improvement when I lowered my intake in salt. I will explain the diet more in details below.

The other book is "Ulcer free! Nature's safe & effective remedy for ulcers" by G. Halpern. I know you may have gastritis and no ulcers but the two conditions are related and what cures one usually cures the other too. I used some of the natural supplements recommended in this book. In particular slippery elm (this one is actually not mentioned in the book) and DGL licorice for stomach pain (coat the interior of the stomach lining), Zinc-Carnosine (reduce inflammation and protects stomach lining - I felt a great improvement after starting to take it especially with acid production at night), and cabbage juice (finished my recovery with this one, after two days I had no stomach pain anymore at night). I describe the supplements more below.

What did not work for me

Mastic gum hurts my stomach. It is supposedly helpful against H. Pylori which I knew I did not have (I had been tested).

Prelief removes the acid in food and stomach very efficiently but causes constipation.

Tums works well for 45 minutes but then there is a rebound effect with the stomach producing more acid.

Manukka honey hurts my stomach (Too acidic, Ph level 4, but maybe also because of the tea tree essential oil in it). It is supposedly helpful against H. Pylori.

Aloe Vera is too acidic (around Ph level 4), and I don't feel it is doing anything positive.

Ginger is irritating and I don't feel it is doing anything positive.

Probiotics helps with digestion but not really for the stomach.

Zantac works very well at removing the acidity but makes me feel dizzy and incredibly tired.

PPI worked very well at removing the acidity and pain in my stomach while I was taking it while doing the diet, but I had a bad rebound effect when I stopped (one must stop slowly by taking it every other day for a while). Also having too low acid in the stomach because of PPI might cause problems in the long term (problems with Calcium and B12 absorption, bacterial infection more likely).

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  • Posted

    What did you eat for those 2  months.And I am still using PPI.Can I stop PPI when I start PEPZIN?
    Report Reply
    • Posted

      Hi Sary,

      I described at the beginning of this post what I eat and what I don't eat. A typical day would be: oatmeal with banana and a little bit of walnut with a chamomille tea for breakfast, grilled chicken (1 teaspoon of olive oil to cook) with a little bit of salt, rice or potatoes, steamed vegetables and a salad for lunch (no onions, garlic, tomatoes, bell peppers or cucumber), melon and coconut water in the afternoon, dinner same as lunch.

      How long have you been using PPI? PPI are helpful to help cure gastritis. I would give it a serious try and then switch to pepzin GI when your doctor advise you to stop.

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    • Posted

      Hi Ines,

      I have been using PPI'S since 7 months. Anyway I want to stop that.

      Can I use PPI and PepZIN GI both at a time(same day)

      Did you use Zantac(H2RA)  everyday with  PepZin GI?

      Zantac is not PPI but it's too blocking acid like PPI right?Can you pl give me suggestion regading this, ASAP?

      And did you eat yogurt(non-fat or any) for those 2 months?

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    • Posted

      Hi Sary,

      The pain in my stomach disappeared after a while with what I described so I thought I was cured. But after I stopped and had a bad dinner a lot of pain came back, now I have been back on everything I described for a few weeks and the stomach pain slowly went away but I feel my stomach is not right yet and I have LPR at night and a sore throat in the morning. So even though I am improved, I am not cured. From everything I read on another forum called healthline, it can take a very long time to cure gastritis whatever you do.

      I decided to give another try to PPI, I started yesterday. My sore throat is going away. I hope it will help cure me faster. I keep doing the diet and take DGL as needed.

      If you want to stop the PPI. It is important to do it gradually: take it every other day for at least a week, then every 3 days, ...

      If you can tolerate zantac, take it. I did not because it made me feel dizzy.

      The PPI is to take 30 minutes before breakfast, the pepzin GI with your meal. 

      I don't know if you can take both the same day, I plan to do it when I stop the PPI.

      I suggest no dairy because it makes your stomach produce more acid. 

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    • Posted

      Hi Sary,

      Any type of rice is good for the stomach. I like to vary: sushi rice, sticky rice, basmati rice, jasmine rice,...

      I eat mostly white rice that I rinse well because of the content of arsenic that is higher in brown rice. But that has nothing to do with stomach problems.

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    • Posted

      Hi Sary,

      I am using now PPI (dexilant) 30 minutes before breakfast, 1 pepzin gi tab with lunch and one pepzin gi tab with dinner. It seems to be fine. 

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    • Posted

      I took zantac only twice but I stopped because it made me feel dizzy. If you feel good with it, I believe it is helpfull.
      Report Reply
    • Posted

      So, whatever you did for those 2 months, you did while the acid is moving in your stomach. If we do the whole thing using PPI or any H2 blocker,  it takes a month or so.Now you are doing the same thing with PPI, maybe it just takes 14 days to settle.
      Report Reply
    • Posted

      Hi Sary,

      I took dexilant first for two months approximately 6 months ago. I felt good after two months but then when I stopped my symptoms came back strongly. So I took the natural supplements for 2-3 months and I felt good again but after I stopped for two weeks and had a bad dinner, the pain was back. Now I have taken the natural supplements again for a few weeks but I got tired of the sore throat and the slow speed of my improvement so I switched to PPI. 

      To answer your question, when I take the natural supplements and not the PPI I have more acid in my stomach, too much actually. But pepzin GI helps repair your stomach in an acidic environment.

      Report Reply
    • Posted

      Hi Ines,

      Is it better to buy the below books(which u preferred) to get more understanding abt gastritis?

      1. "Dropping acid: the reflux diet cookbook & cure" by Jamie Koufman.

      2 "Ulcer free! Nature's safe & effective remedy for ulcers" by G. Halpern.

      I have seen 2 versions(2010, 1012) in Amazon for the first book(Dropping acid.....).Which version is better to buy?

      Is the second book(Ulcer free....)  2006 edition?

      Can you pl give me clarity regarding these books?

       

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    • Posted

      I bought the 2010 paper edition of dropping acid. It looks like it is the same as the kindle edition of 2012. 

      I bought the kindle edition (2013) of ulcer free. I don't know if it the same as the 2006 edition you found. I would just buy the more recent if there is a difference between the books.

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    • Posted

      Thanks Ines.

      What are the best vegetables which are good for gastritis?

      I usually eat carrot, squash and sometimes spinach.

      What else would be good for us?

       

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    • Posted

      Hi Sary,

      There are some vegetables that are well-known to irritate the stomach for most people and then there are some that irritate some people. You have to test how you feel.

      I noticed that fibers are slightly irritating so I eat the vegetables either in juices or cooked.

      I can tell you what works well for me.

      For juices I use mostly carrots, celery, fennel and spinach, sometimes parsley. I avoid cucumber and rucola and all vegetables usually eaten cooked.

      To cook I use all vegetables except tomatoes, onions, garlic, bell pepper. I am a bit scared of leeks as it is from the onion family but maybe they are ok, I have not tried. I find potatoes, butternut squash and carrots very soothing mashed.

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    • Posted

      Hi Ines. When you make your soup and stews, do you use a stock or gravy as I cant use either and wondered if there was another way to add some flavour. Thanks
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    • Posted

      Thanks Ines for very useful info regarding vegetables and soups.

           Did you drink Evamore water completely for those 2 months.

      Why I am asking is, it's too  expensive and we are not able to find that water everywhere.

      If we have more benefit with that water, we have to drink only that.

       

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    • Posted

      Hi Sary,

      I am drinking evamore water most of the time except when I make chamomille tea. But I was on vacation these last two weeks and I drank other waters, it was fine. I don't think evamore water is very important for recovery, it is just soothing for the throat and it feels good. But you can improve without it. If you drink bottled water, check the Ph on the bottle and try to buy the highest Ph level. Some very cheap waters have a high ph level above 7. If you drink tap water, you might want to filter it and try to evaluate its ph level but it should be fine. I drink filtered tap water from time to time and I feel fine with it. I prefer filtered water (britta) as I read that chlorine might be irritating for the stomach, and moreover it tastes better.

      Trust how you feel after drinking the water that you drink now. If it is bad for you, you should feel it almost immediately.

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    • Posted

      What kind of snacks are usually good for us?

      I know saltines(low sodium) are little better.

      What foods(restaurant or fast foods) you felt better when you went on vacation.

       

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    • Posted

      For snacks: watermelon, melon, bananas, bread with a little bit of almond paste, rice milk, frech coconut water, oatmeal are good. 

      In vacation I had buckwheat crackers (just buckwheat flour and water), rice crackers (law salt), some almonds (very little), slices of roasted chicken when I could find them, smoked salmon if I can't find anything else (too fatty and the smoking process is irritating), bread. Most of the time I prepared in advance some food to take with me in a little cooler bag.

      Going to the restaurant is always stressful and I try to avoid it. But in vacation I had to go sometimes. The best choices are vegetarian/organic restaurant that sometimes have a "macrobiotic" plate, which is basically a plate of steamed vegetables, with plain rice and some vegetarian protein with no spices. Also, in vegetarian/organic restaurants, they are used to people with weird diets so they are less likely to mess up. I went to a fish place too and got some great shrimps and a crab with nothing on it. Or out of desperation and hunger I would look for a restaurant that has salads  and ask for a salad with no dressing and without all the forbidden vegetables (nicoise salad for example). All the raw vegetables are a little bit irritating though. If I could not find any of these and ended up in a normal restaurants I would just explain the situation and see if they have something they can make. Half the time what I got was ok. Sometimes I would get some unexpected addition to my dish and I would need to do some sorting. It is rarely perfect.

      To avoid the stress of getting some food that would be irritating, a few times I cooked in advance a meal to take with me (you need to stay at a place with a kitchen) and asked the restaurant if I can eat my own food while my husband will order something, and explain why. Sometimes they would say no and we would move on, sometimes they would say yes.

       

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    • Posted

      Hi Ines. Is your stomach starting to get better again after your recent upset?

      When do you think you might start reintroducing more into your diet.

      Do you feel that it is stronger than it was a few months ago and gets over upsets quicker? Sorry for all the questions its just mine seems very similar to yours and your advice is very useful. Thanks

      Report Reply
    • Posted

      Hi Emma,

      How are you doing?

      I started the PPI again more or less 10 days ago. My stomach feels better, good most of the time. Sometimes I have a light pain but it goes away immediately with DGL licorice (I try to take it in the afternoon only to not interfere with dexilant which I take first thing in the morning). I came back from vacation three days ago, I ate a few foods that were not ideal during the trip (mostly fatty foods in bigger quantities than I usually do: tuna, avocado, cheese) and developed a light pain towards the end, but it is gone now. I am happy to be back on a strict diet.

      Yes I feel my stomach is stronger but I feel too that it is not healed yet, maybe halfway there. I relaxed lightly the rules I set to myself. I am not as careful about the amount of olive oil I use for example. Yesterday I had a weak moment and had some (organic farm fresh) blueberries that were very acidic but I did not suffer from it.

      To be honest with you I have no plan to reintroduce irritating/acidic/fatty foods any time soon. Beside dairy that I miss very much I am actually satisfied with my current diet. And when I get bored with it I add a few herbs (rosemary, bay leaf, thyme, sage) to my dishes. I am not sure if the herbs are good, but they are not terribly bad either. I would be curious to know how other people stomach react with fresh herbs.

      Emma, I just realized that I did not answer your previous question about soups. I don't use a gravy or stock, usually they have onions and/or garlic. What I do to add flavor is saute the vegetables first, I make them turn brown in a little bit of olive oil with salt in the pan, before boiling them at low temperature for a while. The sauteing develops flavors and the boiling for a while at low temparature extracts and mix the flavors.  

      You can roast the vegetables in the oven with a spray of olive oil, salt and some herbs too before boiling them (instead of sauteeing), the idea is the same.

      Unfortunately the sauteeing and roasting, the olive oil and the herbs make the soup more tasty but a little more irritating to the stomach, you have to feel if you can tolerate it. 

      If you make a mushroom soup (maybe it would work for a clear soup with barley, I have not tried), you can use dried mushrooms, and use the water used to rehydrate them.

      I have not tried to make my own stock with chicken bones yet.

      I imagine a clear soup made with shrimps or clams would get a lot of flavors from the shrimps and clams (I am making pasta with clams tonight!).

      I put some recipes on the gastritis forum of healing well if you are interested. 

       

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    • Posted

      About the mushroom soup, I would use the water used to rehydrate the mushrooms, the rehydrated mushrooms, and fresh mushrooms (first saute the fresh mushrooms without salt to not release water). Thyme would probably go very well with it.
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    • Posted

      Hi Ines. Thanks very much for that. I have been really bad last two days just because I tried adding melon to my smoothies. I dont seem to be able to tolerate any fruit apart from banana.

      I do really appreciate all your advice. Its very useful but also inspires me to stick on a really strict diet for a good six months. I have never come across anyone with the same or similar problems to me.

      Will have a look at the recipes that you have put on, thats great thanks.

      Report Reply
    • Posted

      Hi Emma,

      I am sorry about the melon. This is strange. You might be one of the rare people who can't tolerate melon. Or maybe melon does not mix well with your smoothie for some reason. I find it very soothing and refreshing but I read that it is better eaten alone as it is not digested well when taken with other foods. If you decide at some point to try it again, try it away from other foods (I have it alone or with coconut water only), and maybe in a juice to avoid fibers?

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    • Posted

      Thanks Ines. About Rice crackers, I tried them, they are too salty.

      Which brand od Rice Crackers are good(maybe we havento check for low sodium).

      Report Reply
    • Posted

      Hi Sary,

      I bought rice crackers when traveling in Europe. I don't like them so much, they are not very tasty and they are too dry, so I usually don't buy them. But they are easy on the road.

      I don't remember the brand but it advertised low sodium. I see that the brand Lima is without sodium at all. I am not sure what you have in your country, the best is to check the local organic store. 

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    • Posted

      Hi Ines, how are you?

      Just been reading a forum on leaky gut and it highly recommends eating fermented vegetables to heal your stomach lining. Ive just ordered a book from Amazon but just wondered if you had every tried this. Apparently probiotic foods are supposed to be really good for you. Keep reading kefir is supposed to be very good.

      I know you dont have leaky gut but might help your gastritis.

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    • Posted

      Hi Emma,

      I am feeling good with the diet and the medication, thank you. I look forward to see the GI doctor next week.

      Thank you for the advice regarding probiotic foods. I read a lot about our microbiome and it is very important for health indeed. Sometimes I take probiotics even though I don't feel that it does anything. Unfortunately dairy give me stomach pain but I do eat miso and tempeh from time to time. Supposedly natto is a very good food for health too but it tastes too bad, Japanese people like to laugh at the face wester people make when they try it. Be careful that some fermented foods are too acidic.

      I was wondering about your leaky gut syndrom you were talking about and I read the wikipedia page on leaky gut to know a little more about it. They say that this theory is vague and largely unproven, and that there is no evidence that the remedies marketed for treating leaky gut bring the benefits they claim.

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    • Posted

      Hi Ines

      Im glad you are feeling better, hopefully if you stick to the diet for a while, the gastritis should completely go. 

      Ive not had much luck with the ppi. It makes my tum very sore, like everything I try, and gives me a headache. If I stick to the diet I find that I do not have excess acid so am just going to do that. 

      Its funny you say about some fermented food being acidic. I did try making my own sauerkraut in the past but when I tried some, the juice was very much like vinegar and did make my tummy burn. I wonder if other vegetables would have the same effect. 

      Ive decided just to be really careful with what I eat now and have my green smoothies. My stomach definitely starts to feel a little better every day so hopefully if I keep at it for a good six months, it should start healing. I think the gastritis and leaky gut will heal together. 

      I hope you get on with your GI Dr ok next week, I am going as well to get results of my blood tests

      I cant have dairy either, just a small amount seems to leek through my intestines and trigger my sinuses within about ten minutes. I know they do a water kefir but you have to add sugar to that. The trouble is you end up worried to try anything in case it makes things worse.

      Al the best, Emma.

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