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7 Things I Wish People Who Don’t Have Chronic Gastritis Understood

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I was diagnosed with acute gastritis in March 2014 and the doctor told me to stop eating acidic foods. I did that, and nothing was cured. I kept throwing up food I’d never digested, and throwing up blood no matter what I ate. Between March 2014 and April 2016, I have been to hospitals more times than I can count on both my hands. Doctors didn’t believe me, rolled their eyes and tested me using machines that cost too much money. This year, April 2016, I was diagnosed with chronic gastritis — that means for life.

The 7 things I wish people who don’t have what I have understood:

1. I am not skipping a meal to lose weight. I cannot eat lunch because my body gives me a choice between lunch or dinner. If I eat lunch, I cannot eat dinner and that is just how it needs to be in order for me to not get sick.

2. It is real. I am not making up anything. I am not over-complaining. I have spent hours and days not sleeping, so sick and in so much pain. There was nothing I could do.

3. I deal with depression due to the symptoms, the ignorance from the doctors and others, and the hospital bills.

4. It feels like a neverending domino effect. If my severe GERD gets triggered, the gastritis is triggered. If my IBS acts up and I am unable to go to the bathroom for longer than two weeks, which happens often, the gastritis is triggered.

5. The cause of gastritis isn’t clear. For all the possible causes of chronic gastritis, the only one that could even possibly be true in my case is stress. I am constantly anxious and overly stressed, and I am trying. It’s harder to keep it at bay than it seems.

6. Please understand what I can and cannot eat. It may seem strange, but I need to do what is best for my body, mind and my gastritis. Please accommodate and understand.

7. There’s no simple solution. After much searching and consulting doctors who weren’t helpful, I found a nutritionist who understood me, listened to me and gave me options. For me, aloe vera juice and boswellia (frankincense oil) are my lifesavers. These two remedies stopped the pain, sleeplessness, throwing up, and stomach bloatedness I battled with for two years in a week – and it has lasted over two months now.

Editor’s note: Any medical information included is based on a personal experience. For questions or concerns regarding health, please consult a doctor or medical professional.

Originally published: August 8, 2016
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