Thanks to all the well-wishers who left me little notes of support after my horrible stomach troubles last week.
A few were asking what I was doing to heal and, since I’m on the road to recovery now, it seemed like a good time to answer that question.
Obviously, I’m not a doctor. Below is just an account of what worked for me. If you have gastritis (or any stomach troubles), do your own research, seek medical advice and pick a plan that’s best for you.
The first 48
The first 48 hours after Stomachgate I couldn’t eat anything. After three separate attempts each ended in hours of agony so bad that all I do was writhe around the sofa until it passed, I decided that the safest course of action was to fast.
(in case you’re wondering – those first attempts were 1. very well-cooked oatmeal 2. a dairy-free smoothie with fruits and veggies 3. a spoonful of yoghurt)
I also took the prescription pills the doctor gave me (yes, I know, pills are bad but honestly, I was so scared that my stomach was shredded that I decided to just take the Nexium for a few days to reduce the acid and help reduce the inflammation) and took about two glasses of baking soda dissolved in warm water each day.
The next few days
After 48 hours I found I tolerate broth…and I’ve never been so happy to have a fridge full of homemade chicken and lamb broth in my life. I drank a mug whenever hungry and got through the next few days with that routine.
But it wasn’t enough. My poor body was crying out for calories so on Day 4 I attempted some plain mashed potato…and it was a success.
From there I started to incorporate more alkaline foods (going mostly from this chart) one at a time to see if they went down okay. That meant a lot of green veggies and safe starches – carrots, bananas, kale, spinach, squash, sweet potato, potatoes and broccoli.
My doctor has me under strict orders to avoid fatty foods, fried food, alcohol, caffeine and spicy foods for the next two weeks.
To that list I’m also adding dairy, meat, sugar and processed foods (on the grounds that they are acidic) so basically living like a vegan. I’m a bit worried about the sudden drop in my fat/protein intake, but I guess a fortnight won’t kill me.
Other strategies that are proving helpful is the usual advice about improving digestion:
- eat small meals
- eat slowly, and chew properly
- don’t drink liquids while you eat
- don’t have too many food groups on your plate at once
Weigh in: Anyone else suffered from gastritis or heartburn or any stomach upsets? What did you do to heal? Do you try to eat more alkaline than acidic? Any tips on how I can get my protein/fat needs on this diet?