Chronic gastritis is the most common condition of the gastrointestinal tract, according to some data, its prevalence may reach 60%. Fortunately, there are many powerful remedies that can help to overcome it. Nexium is one of them. It is significantly inferior to omeprazole in terms of popularity, however, it is still widely used. How does it treat gastritis? What’s better: Nexium or natural remedies?
Gastritis, Its Causes and Symptoms
Gastritis is a general term covering a group of illnesses that have one common feature: inflammation, irritation or erosive lesions of stomach lining. According to some authors, gastritis is more likely a condition and not a disease, since in many cases inflammation of the gastric mucosa does not lead to the appearance of clinical symptoms.
Gastritis development may be linked to Helicobacter pylori, frequent/permanent psychoemotional stress, personal problems, improper nutrition, harebrained fasting, alcohol overconsumption, smoking, cocaine, severe illness, autoimmune disorders, using an anti-pain medicine (NSAID) for an extended period, eating dry food and some other causes.
Related topic: Diclofenac for Pain Relief
Some scientists consider the term “gastritis” inappropriate, since a serious mucosal lesion can be almost asymptomatic, while gastrointestinal upsets such as pain, nausea, belching, and loose stools can occur with a slight inflammation of the stomach or even in its absence. If there are no structural changes in the gastric mucosa, the diagnosis of functional dyspepsia can be used. In Japan, a country with a very high rate of stomach cancer (the incidence in men is 77.9 and in women 33.3 per 100,000 population), doctors combine the diagnoses of chronic gastritis and functional dyspepsia, thereby indicating the presence or absence of mucosal changes gastric lining and / or related clinical symptoms.
The most common cause of chronic gastritis worldwide is H. pylori infection. This bacterium causes progressive damage to the gastric mucosa and plays an important causative role in a number of important diseases, including duodenal ulcer, gastric ulcer, and even stomach adenocarcinoma (a type of cancer).
Well, what are symptoms of gastritis? The most common ones are as follows:
- pain in the abdominal area
- appetite decrease or loss
- hiccups, especially after eating irritative food
- dyspepsia (indigestion)
- stomach upset
- dark stools
What is Nexium? How Does It Work?
A pharmaceutical substance called esomeprazole was patented back in 1993, however, it received approval for medical use only 7 years later – in 2000. It is now available as a non-branded (generic) medication and sold OTC in many countries. According to ClinCalc, it was 69th most prescribed medication in the United States (but its position slightly worsened in comparison with the previous year). Branded name of the product is offered by AstraZeneca company.
The drug comes in the form of delayed-release tablets or delayed-release capsules. It also has enteric coating, as the active substance is actively destroyed by the stomach acid. There two typical dosages: 20mg and 40mg.
Nexium can be ordered here: Product page.
The medication belongs to the category of medications called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). They have similar mechanism of action. Like other PPIs, Nexium works by reducing the amount of gastric acid made by the stomach. Therefore, stomach mucosa receives a possibility to recover from damage caused by acidic gastric juice.
An important fact: stress-induced gastritis can be prevented by early use of PPIs. Rishi Megha and Peter P. Lopez, StatPearls Publishing, 2019.
The medication work best when used on a regular basis. Try to take it at the same time every day. Continue the administration till the end of prescribed period, even if you feel improvement of your symptoms. Sudden cancellation can lead to a quick return of the condition. Tell your healthcare provider if your condition worsens or does not improve. Important: this medication is very similar to omeprazole (Prilosec, Losec), so don’t take omeprazole-containing medicines while treating with Nexium.
Natural Remedies for Gastritis Treatment
Besides medical therapy, a patient should take attention to natural methods of gastritis treatment. Let’s consider main of them.
Doctors say that diet is a cornerstone of successful gastritis treatment. The main rule: food should not be very acidic, salty and bitter. It should be gentle and not irritate the gastric mucosa, so coarse and hot food is also contraindicated, especially when the disease is in exacerbated phase.
If you suffer from gastritis symptoms, you can eat porridge (cereals), soups, lean meat and fish, boiled vegetables, non-acidic fruits. Drink non-carbonated and non-caffeinated drinks. Dairy products, sweets, gluten-containing foods can contribute to inflammation.
Herbs and Plants
Some herbs may help to combat gastritis. These include green tea, rosemary, aloe vera, chamomile, calendula, thyme, lemon balm, and mint. Don’t choose herbal teas on your own, always consult a healthcare professional. Some of them may increase gastric acidity, while others, vice versa, may decrease it. Depending on the type of disease you have, an effect may be inappropriate.
Jelly prepared on the basis of flax seeds is considered a useful remedy. It “wraps” the gastric mucosa, positively affecting its condition. Other folk remedies include cabbage juice, honey, coconut oil and water, turmeric, juice from carrots and potatoes.
There are several over-the-counter supplies that might be helpful in case of gastritis. Among them are chlorophyll, essential oils, probiotics, and garlic extract. Supplements are sold as OTC products; despite that it would be a good idea to consult a healthcare expert before the beginning of self-prescribed therapy.
Nexium vs Natural Treatment
When it comes to comparison between these two methods, it should be said that Nexium may act quicker and be more effective. Natural herbs may take longer time to show necessary effect. However, the proper diet is a must-follow thing in any case, without it your efforts will be in vain.