The term gastritis refers to any condition that involves inflammation of the stomach lining. Eating certain foods, and avoiding others, can help people manage their symptoms of gastritis.

Gastritis can be acute or chronic. Acute gastritis comes on suddenly and severely, while chronic gastritis lasts for a longer duration.

Different types of gastritis are caused by different factors. Symptoms include indigestion, abdominal pain, nausea, and feeling full.

For most people, gastritis is minor and will go away quickly after treatment. However, some forms of gastritis can produce ulcers or increase the risk of cancer.

Diet is an important player in your digestive health and your overall health. Following a gastritis-friendly diet can go a long way towards relieving your symptoms and helping you feeling better.

Some foods may help manage your gastritis and lessen the symptoms.

Diet does not generally cause chronic gastritis, but eating some foods can make the symptoms worse. These may include fried, spicy, and highly acidic foods.

Some people find that the following foods and drinks help ease symptoms of gastritis:

Some studies say that probiotics could help with stomach issues caused by bacteria called Helicobacter pylori. These bacteria cause an infection in the digestive system which can lead to gastritis or stomach ulcers.

H. pylori is the most common cause of gastritis, accounting for 90 percent of cases.

Healthful probiotic foods could, therefore, help with gastritis. These include kombucha, yogurt, kimchi, and sauerkraut. Eating smaller, more frequent meals can also help ease symptoms.

Some types of gastritis can make it more difficult for the body to absorb iron or vitamin B-12, leading to deficiencies. Talk to your doctor about taking supplements to prevent deficiencies.

Foods that are high in fat may worsen inflammation in the lining of the stomach.

For some people, food allergies can trigger gastritis. In these cases, identifying and avoiding these foods may treat and prevent gastritis.

Some forms of gastritis are caused by drinking alcohol too often or drinking too much in a short period.

Foods that may irritate the stomach, therefore making gastritis worse, include:

  • alcohol
  • coffee
  • acidic foods, such as tomatoes and some fruits
  • fruit juices
  • fatty foods
  • fried foods
  • carbonated drinks
  • spicy foods

If you notice that a certain food or food group makes your symptoms worse, avoiding this food can prevent symptoms. This is particularly true with food allergies.

Left untreated, some types of gastritis can eventually lead to a stomach ulcer, also called a peptic ulcer. If you have an ulcer, the types of foods that you should eat or avoid are similar to those for gastritis.

With an ulcer, you should make sure you are getting foods that are full of nutrients. Following a healthful, balanced diet makes it easier for the ulcer to heal.

According to research on diet and stomach ulcers, the following foods are allowed:

  • milk, yogurt, and low-fat cheeses
  • vegetable oils and olive oil
  • some fruits, including apples, melons, and bananas
  • some vegetables, including leafy greens, carrots, spinach, and zucchini
  • lentils, chickpeas, and soybeans
  • lean meats
  • natural juices

Research also suggests that people with a stomach ulcer may want to avoid:

  • fried foods
  • spicy peppers
  • chocolate
  • caffeinated drinks
  • mustard grains

Different types of gastritis have different causes. Some of these include:

Bacterial infection by H. pylori

H. pylori bacteria are the most common cause of gastritis, accounting for 90 percent of cases.

The main cause of chronic gastritis is an H. pylori infection in childhood that continues to cause problems in adulthood.

Stomach lining damage

Various factors can damage the stomach lining to cause gastritis, including:

  • drinking alcohol and taking certain drugs
  • aspirin and pain reliever, including NSAIDS
  • swallowing a corrosive substance
  • bacterial or viral infections
  • radioactive treatments to the upper abdomen or lower part of the chest
  • surgery to remove part of the stomach

Major injury or illness

Major illness or injury can cause acute stress gastritis.

An injury to the body — not necessarily to the stomach — or an illness that affects blood flow to the stomach can increase acid in the stomach, causing gastritis.

Autoimmune disease

Autoimmune diseases may also contribute to gastritis. This occurs when the immune system starts to attack the body’s own healthy tissue in the stomach lining.

Food allergies

The link between food allergies and gastritis is not yet clear. However, food allergies can cause a rare type of gastrointestinal inflammation called eosinophilic gastroenteritis.

Work with your doctor or board-certified allergist to determine any food allergies.

For gastritis caused by H. pylori, your doctor will also prescribe antibiotics.

Over-the-counter medications, including antacids, can ease stomach problems but do not treat the underlying problems. Taking probiotic supplements may help to treat and prevent symptoms.

People should avoid things that trigger their gastritis, which may include alcohol, aspirin, or pain medication.

Other things that can help relieve gastritis include losing weight and managing stress. Eating small, frequent meals instead of lager meals can also help.

The length of time your gastritis will last once you begin treatment depends on the type, cause, and severity.

Most of the time, gastritis will improve quickly after beginning treatment. Talk to your doctor if your gastritis symptoms are severe or last more than a week.

When considering diet changes or new medications, it’s best to check with a doctor first.