Gastritis and reflux
Gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GORD) is a common gastrointestinal condition of which it is estimated to occur in 10%-15% of the Australian population.
The causes of GORD can be complex as a number of factors can be involved and if left unresolved can cause further complications.
Gastritis refers to inflammation and irritation of the lining of the stomach and symptoms can be acute (lasting a few days) or chronic. There are several factors that cause gastritis which may include: bacterial infection (and stomach ulcers), alcohol, stress, medications such as aspirin or anti-inflammatories, allergic or immune conditions. Signs and symptoms of gastritis can vary in individuals and at times no symptoms can be present.
The mechanisms involve in GORD involves the reflux of stomach contents into the esophagus causing symptoms inclusive of:
Burning or gnawing in the stomach in between meals (empty stomach)
Loss of appetite
In both gastritis and GORD treatment is aimed at identifying the cause of the condition and symptoms to address underlying factors in conjunction with reducing symptoms of inflammation and restoring digestive function. Assessment of recent blood pathology is beneficial to help identify nutritional deficiencies and pathologies in addition to review of previous investigations. Investigations into dietary and lifestyle factors that may be contributing to the cause of symptoms is of priority and the use or past use of pharmaceutical medications. The use of evidence based functional nutritional and herbal medicine combined with probiotic and prebiotic treatment can assist in a reduction of symptoms, treatment of the underlying cause and long term maintenance of gastrointestinal health.