Gastritis: Swelling of stomach lining
The stomach is a hollow bag like organ composed of three parts or regions called fund us (upper region), corpus (body) and antrum (lower region). The wall of this bag is made up of three layers. The inner most stomach lining is known as mucosa. Mucosa has Gastric glands, which produces gastric juice. It has hydrochloric acid and other chemicals that helps in the digestion of protein and absorption of iron, calcium, and vitamin B-12 .
Gastritis refers to a set of diseases caused due to swelling of the stomach lining (mucos aligning). Various factors like spicy food, medicines, tobacco, alcohol etc. can cause increase in gastric acid production and disturb, weaken or damage the normal stomach lining. Abdominal discomfort or pain, indigestion, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting occurs when the gastric acid comes in contact with the broken stomach lining.
Gastritis is a very common disorder of all age groups
Gastritis is of two types - acute gastritis (which occurs suddenly) and chronic gastritis (develops over a period of time). In India gastritis is a very common disorder. Gastritis can occur at any age but is more widespread in the adolescent age group (12-17 yrs). Adolescence is change from childhood to adulthood, the period in which lot of physical and psychological changes occur.
Multiple factors cause gastritis
Various factors like spicy food, medicines, tobacco, alcohol, emotional disturbance and psychological stress, excessive use of pain killers, smoking, alcohol intake and bacterial infection lead to gastritis. The three most important factors are Helicobacter pylori infection (bacterial infection), use of pain killer drugs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs) Autoimmunity (body loses its own immunity and attacks itself). These factors in long term may even cause ulcer (permanent breakage of stomach lining), acid reflux disorder (food coming back to mouth after swallowing) and stomach cancer. Chemical or reactive gastritis is caused by injury to the gastric mucosa resulting from reflux of bile and pancreatic secretions into the stomach.
Agni refers to fire like activity in alimentary canal responsible for digestion of food. This activity is influenced by status of doshas. When Samana-vata associates with kaphain turn produces weak digestive power (Agni-mandya). Consuming food against code of dietetics i.e. Ahara-vidhividhana and Ahara-vidhi-visheshayatana (method of taking food) lead to a number of diseases related with food. Eating food before the previous food is digested, untimely food, eating too much of spicy or oily food, eating when not hungry, drinking too much water during food and at a time unless required, very hot and high fatty-fried food, stale food, heavy diet, excess consumption of horse gram, vitiate all the three body humours (Tridosha)
Due to sourness of consumed food the liquidity of pitta increases further decreasing the capacity for digestion (Agnimandya). Hence Rasadi-Dhatuis not formed in proper manner. This, after certain period, manifests as Amlapitta.