Top Books to Help you Heal Gastritis
If there is one thing that makes a huge difference to the amount of time it takes to heal from Gastritis, its diet.
For years I would have a Gastritis flare-up, take my prescribed medication and things would settle down. I would then stop the medication after a month or so and continue eating my usual diet, which would sometimes include spicy foods, rich tomato sauces with onions and garlic and a chilled glass of white wine.
A few weeks later another flare-up. Finally, I got fed up with this cycle and decided I needed to do something about it.
I really didn’t want to keep popping pills, especially PPI’s (Proton pump inhibitors) which I had concerns about. So I began to research healing my gastritis with my diet.
The Acid-watcher Diet
There are so many diet books out there, but at the time not as many specifically for Gastritis. A nutritionist suggested I try the Acid watchers diet.
Even though my main symptoms were gastritis, I also had some issues with acid reflux, as many people with gastritis do. I have on occasion had what is known as silent acid reflux (which presents symptoms such as a constant cough, thick mucus in my throat, postnasal drip and shortness of breath etc).
The acid watchers diet is a programme and book by Dr Johnathan Aviv – The Acid Watcher Diet: A 28-Day Reflux Prevention and Healing Programme, its a fantastic book and very clearly sets out what you can and can’t eat as well as providing recipes and meal plans.
Some of the ingredients you need to buy are a little hard to find in the UK and therefore are a bit expensive, they are mainly for seasoning the food, so you can do without them if you have to.
You do need to be very organised with this diet, but it’s worth it. The first part of the diet is called the healing phase and is of course the most restrictive. But I love the way there is a plan to follow and a complete shopping list with every single ingredient you’ll need on there. It just makes it less stressful knowing what you need to eat and when.
It’s not easy as it feels like you can’t eat anything you normally do at first, I also felt like I was constantly checking in the book to see if I could eat something or not. But you do start to know what’s ok and what’s not quite quickly. Plus once you have bought the book, there are also some really useful Facebook support groups where people share their tips and recipes. Certainly worth a look. I belong to this one – The Acid Watchers Diet support – Relaxed group
After the healing phase, you move onto the maintenance phase, where you can start introducing foods back into your diet that you had eliminated. If you have an issue with a particular food now is the time you may notice it as you reintroduce it after a month of not having it, so you will learn what are triggers for you. This will be really useful long term.
I can’t say I followed the diet completely as my issue wasn’t exactly what the diet is for, but I just thought it would help and it really did. Plus the book is really helpful at educating yourself about how the digestive system works and why we sometimes have issues.
The Gastritis healing book
Although the Acid watchers diet did really improve things for me, mainly as it made me more aware of what was Okay and not Okay to eat. It wasn’t until a year or so later that I came across this book – The Gastritis Healing Book: A Comprehensive Guide to Heal Gastritis and Restore Your Stomach Health Paperback by L. G. Capellan and this one has been a game-changer for me.
You can tell the author really speaks from experience and you don’t get those obvious suggestions that you often see, Such as try cutting out coffee and spicy foods!
The book was really interesting and taught me a lot about my digestive system and what’s happening when I have gut issues.
The meal plans were excellent and it also had lots of recipes for side dishes, snacks etc even things like Gastritis friendly Banana bread and blueberry muffins both of which are delicious.
It also has a really good chapter on how to stop taking PPI’s, which is something lots of people struggle with. Sometimes the rebound effect is bad enough that it feels worse than the reason you started taking the PPI’s in the first place. This book explains why you get this rebound effect and how to avoid it.
Another chapter focuses on gaining weight, weight loss is a common issue when suffering from digestive issues, and can be very worrying. It has tips on calories and the best way to eat food to maximise weight gain.
So after following the book very strictly for about a month, I was feeling great, but obviously, I carried on the full 90 days and continued to feel good.
I can’t say I’ve never had another flare-up since doing this programme but as soon as I do I start following this book again and it always helps. The only downside (as with a lot of these books) is it’s American, so the recipes take a bit of chopping and changing to get the right ingredients and measurements, but it’s no big issue.
I can’t emphasise enough how important diet is to healing Gastritis and other digestive complaints. Many people I know take PPI’s or H2 blockers but just carry on eating like they always have and wonder why they never get completely better, things like not giving up that daily morning coffee or that spicy burrito at lunchtime.
Changing your diet gives your stomach the best possible chance to heal and stay healed.