Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Gastritis: The Fat Fast is Helping

I've finally found a name for what I have: gastritis. From Wikipedia:

Gastritis is an inflammation of the lining of the stomach, and has many possible causes.[1] The main acute causes are excessive alcohol consumption or prolonged use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (also known as NSAIDs) such as aspirin or ibuprofen. Sometimes gastritis develops after major surgery, traumatic injury, burns, or severe infections. Gastritis may also occur in those who have had weight loss surgery resulting in the banding or reconstruction of the digestive tract. Chronic causes are infection with bacteria, primarily Helicobacter pylori, chronic bile reflux, and stress; certain autoimmune disorders can cause gastritis as well. The most common symptom is abdominal upset or pain. Other symptoms are indigestion, abdominal bloating, nausea, and vomiting and pernicious anemia. Some may have a feeling of fullness or burning in the upper abdomen.[2][3] A gastroscopy, blood test, complete blood count test, or a stool test may be used to diagnose gastritis.[4] Treatment includes taking antacids or other medicines, such as proton pump inhibitors or antibiotics, and avoiding hot or spicy foods. (emphasis added)

Since gastritis can come from injury, burns, severe infections, and autoimmune diseases, it looks like there's something to the idea that systemic inflammation can cause it. I'm glad I'm not bonkers.

Antacids and PPIs (proton pump inhibitors) are the wrong treatments. First, they don't address the real problem: inflammation. Second, PPIs and antacids make your digestion worse--you need stomach acid to digest food. The acid is also a line of defense in your immune system: it kills most bacteria on contact. Third, prolonged antacid use leads to mineral deficiencies and increased risk of bone fractures.(1) Acid rebound makes getting off them a nightmare. I've been through it.(2)

To avoid hot or spicy food depends on the person. Chili peppers actually make my stomach feel better.

The fat fast has also made my stomach feel better. I'm on day 1.5 and the bloating is mostly gone, making my belly flatter. I had a wheat belly without the wheat. The soreness at the top of my stomach is mostly gone. I was down 1.4 pounds this morning, which is fine, but not the reason I'm doing this.

I've found that I need to use a lot of salt on this fast. My blood pressure usually runs at the low end of normal, and low-carb makes you dump salt. (A ketostick showed a moderate ketone level today.) Therefore, all my food has to have salt. Not just a sprinkle, not just a lot, but a glittery crust of salt. Otherwise, I feel light-headed. After meals, I also say to myself what I say to my dog: "Give that food a chance to settle. You might find that you're full." Since fat digests slowly (I'm sure my stomach problems slow it down even more), it takes about 20 minutes after a mini-meal to feel full.

My TMJ pain from walking my dog--the thing I think originally brought this on--is almost completely gone since I haven't been walking Molly and I've been going to yoga. My energy is good--I couldn't go tear it up on the dance floor, but going to work isn't a problem.

  1. "The Dirty Little Secret of Acid Blockers" by Lori Miller. Pain, Pain, Go Away! February 19, 2010.
  2. "On the Rebound and Hating It" by Lori Miller. Pain, Pain, Go Away! February 21, 2010.


Anonymous said...

I love salt! That's one thing I refuse to reduce. Lots of interesting info there, Lori, put beautifully concisely.

Lori Miller said...

Thanks, Carole. Haven't had any bloating with all the salt, so it looks like I'm not going overboard.

tess said...

isn't it amazing how MANY things conventional wisdom is wrong about? luv my salt....

Lori Miller said...

And it's amazing how many things can go wrong from one bad decision, like fat is bad for you. Fat+carb is a really bad combination for stomach problems, but fat+salt has been like a bucket of water on a fire.