According to ClevelandClinic, acute gastritis affects 2 of every 10.000 people, while chronic gastritis occurs in 8 of every 1.000 individuals. 
The term “gastritis” describes inflammatory health conditions affecting the stomach lining (the gastric mucosa that protects the stomach tissue). It can be acute (sudden inflammation and quick recovery) or chronic (symptoms lasting for years.)
The severity of symptoms depends on the degree of progression of the disease. That being said, if left untreated, acute gastritis may become chronic, and the chronic condition may pose serious health risks, including stomach ulcers, bleeding, and predisposition to cancer development. 
Usual gastritis treatment includes the intake of specialized drugs prescribed by your gastroenterologist, as well as changes in diet. In fact, making the right dietary choices and the change of the lifestyle play a key role in the management of gastritis symptoms.
This article will guide you through the most important aspects of gastritis and will show you the dietary recommendations for symptom management, as well as the foods that can worsen this health condition.
Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
What to eat and what not to eat with gastritis?
Depending on the severity of symptoms and the degree of gastritis progression, your doctor may advise you to consume/avoid different foods. Keep in mind that diet by itself has not been evidenced to reverse gastritis and related conditions, but plays an important role in supporting the symptoms.
That being said, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has published some nutritional considerations and dietary guidelines that can improve the wellbeing of gastritis patients. Those considerations are based on numerous research studies and carefully evaluated research results. 
According to the source, the consumption of the following foods may play a role in preventing gastritis and ulcer disease complications and slow/limit the progression of those diseases:
- Fiber-rich foods (specifically oats, legumes, whole grains, and high fiber fruits and veggies- oranges, apples, etc.)
- Foods rich in vitamin A (carrots, broccoli, sweet potato, spinach, liver)
- Foods rich in probiotics (yogurt, kefir)
Foods to avoid with gastritis:
- Spicy foods
What causes gastritis?
According to a 2020 paper of StatPerls Publishing, the most common cause of gastritis is a bacteria called Helicobacter pylori ( or simply H. pylori) that lives in the stomach after being ingested.  The ingestion may be through contaminated foods and water, but can also be spread from one individual to another through saliva and contact with body fluids. 
The same source suggests that there are other factors that may cause gastritis. These include:
- Other bacteria and microorganisms that may damage the stomach lining and cause infection (e.g., Mycobacterium avium intracellulare, Herpes simplex, and Cytomegalovirus)
- Bile reflux
- Autoimmune reaction (causing autoimmune chronic gastritis condition)
- Excessive use of alcohol
- Excessive (or regular) intake of steroids or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Regular tobacco smoking
- Injury, surgery, or health complications (like Crohn’s disease)
Depending on the cause, your gastroenterologist can prescribe you an appropriate treatment plan. For that reason, it is essential to consult your condition with a health professional and receive an accurate diagnosis.
What is the difference between acute and chronic gastritis?
The main difference between acute and chronic gastritis is in terms of how long the symptoms last. In the acute condition, the symptoms are very intense but last for a short period of time, while when chronic gastritis symptoms may be more persistent and lead to further damage of the stomach lining (if there’s no proper treatment). 
In that sense, the symptoms of acute gastritis include:
- Stomach pain
- Acid reflux
- Nausea and vomiting
- Feeling (unusually) very full after eating
- Blood vomiting
Progression or complications of acute gastritis, as well as inappropriate treatment or lack of therapy, can lead to chronic gastritis. Common chronic symptoms include  :
- Persistent stomach pain (while fasting, as well as after eating)
- Nausea and vomiting
- Weight loss
- Increased risk of gastric cancer
- Increased risk of malignancy and peptic ulcer disease
- Malnutrition (due to poorly absorbed vitamins and minerals)
- Impaired absorption of medicines
Patients often confuse the symptoms of acute gastritis with other gastroenterological diseases. Yet, gastritis is a serious health condition that requires medical attention and a tailored treatment plan.
In order to quickly improve your condition, prevent complications, and chronic health issues, you should visit a gastroenterologist and get an early diagnosis. The doctor will prescribe you an appropriate treatment plan and medications to recover the health of your stomach.
While wise dietary choices can support gastritis symptoms management, an effective treatment plan should be prescribed by a professional gastroenterologist. Both acute and chronic gastritis can be dangerous, especially when we take into account the increased risk of cancer and ulcer disease.
Timely diagnosis is key for the prevention of complications and quick recovery.