Suffering from gastritis for quite some time? Eagerly looking for remedies, to help you relieve your painful symptoms of gastritis? Well, worry not! Here, this article might help you with your issue.
So, are you pondering over the use of activated charcoal for gastritis?
Activated charcoal, commonly used as an anti-poison remedy, can relieve different symptoms of gastritis such as burping, burning sensation, nausea, vomiting, acidity, and indigestion due to its adsorbing properties. If you are still confused, it’s okay! We have discussed the topic in this article.
Read along the article to clear away your doubts.
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Activated Charcoal for Gastritis-Discussed!
Activated charcoal has been well known for its detox properties since time immemorial. In recent years activated charcoal is also known to have many other useful functions, including helping to ease symptoms of gastritis.
What Is Activated Charcoal?
Activated charcoal is a fine, odor-free black powder often used in hospitals to treat patients with drug overdose or poison intake. Although it has additional medical benefits, most do not have a strong scientific context.
Activated charcoal is made by heating carbon enriched natural materials such as wood, bamboo, coconut shells, coconut husks, and peat.
The activation process requires it to be heated in the presence of oxygen at very high temperatures. The heating process
increases the surface area of the charcoal by reducing the pore sizes and introducing more pores.
With its high surface area, activated carbon has adsorbing properties, helping it bind to various substances such as chemicals from food additives, harmful microbes, drugs, toxins, stomach acids, and gases.
It helps eliminate toxins from the body by binding to them and preventing their absorption by the digestive system.
How Does Activated Charcoal Help With Gastritis?
Gastritis is a condition where the stomach lining gets inflamed. Activated charcoal can act as a quick remedy to relieve flatulence, diarrhea, burping or belching, and other gastritis symptoms by binding to gases trapped in your gut.
Bacterial infections by Helicobacter pylori and other bacteria are common causes of gastritis. Activated charcoal can bind such bacteria and other microbes, including viruses, into its porous surface and prevent further stomach lining inflammation.
Furthermore, pain relievers and other over-the-counter medicines can act as irritants causing inflammation of the stomach lining. Activated carbon binds to these drugs and eliminates them from the body.
Other common symptoms of gastritis, including indigestion and upset stomach, can result from excessive stomach acid production. These acids can damage the lining of the stomach leading to gastrointestinal issues. Activated charcoal can help to neutralize these acidic stomach juices by binding to them.
How and When to Take Activated Charcoal?
Activated charcoal can be found in pharmacies in powdered form or in the form of capsules. It has a rapid action time.
Activated charcoal is often suggested to be taken a few hours before and after meals. One tablet 2-3 hours before and one 2-3 hours after the meal is commonly taken. Activated charcoal provides rapid relief from the terrible symptoms of gastritis.
The powdered form is mixed with a liquid such as water, juices, or lemonades before intake. One tablespoon of powdered carbon mixed with half a glass of liquid can be taken 3 to 4 times daily.
Some people take it by mixing 2-3 teaspoons of charcoal with some olive oil or sunflower oil.
All activated charcoal bought from pharmacies has labels with proper dosage instructions. Follow the label instructions to get appropriate results.
However, it should be noted that activated charcoal does not cure gastritis. It only helps to get rid of the symptoms by binding to the sources that aggravate your gastritis.
Side Effects of Activated Charcoal
Till date, activated charcoal is considered safe and does not pose risks of severe side effects.
However, it can cause minor side effects in some individuals. Some side effects are discussed below-
- Vomiting- One of the unpleasant side effects of taking activated charcoal includes vomiting, but this side effect clears away soon. If not, consult your doctor.
- Black poop- People tend to get scared the first time they try activated charcoal as it can turn the stool black. However, it is not something to worry about.
- Constipation- Activated carbon has dehydrating properties. Therefore, it can harden the feces. Drinking adequate amounts of water can help to stay away from this problem.
- Diarrhea- Excess intake of activated charcoal can also cause diarrhea. Therefore, it is suggested to follow standard dosage instructions while taking activated charcoal.
Things to Keep in Mind
- Take activated charcoal only when needed, and do not incorporate it into your daily routine. Studies on long-term or regular intake of activated charcoal are not sufficient to draw conclusions.
- Do not take activated charcoal right before or after taking your other medications, as activated charcoal’s adsorbing properties can interfere with the action of the medicines.
- It is essential to stay hydrated while taking activated charcoal to prevent constipation issues. In rare cases, activated charcoal’s dehydrating properties can cause bowel blockage.
- Activated charcoal can remove toxins from your digestive tracts; however, do not try to treat the patient by yourself in case of accidental poison intakes. Take the patient immediately to the hospital for appropriate treatment.
Other Uses of Activated Charcoal
The binding and neutralizing property of activated charcoal allows it to be useful in many other ways.
It is an emergency treatment used for patients with poison intake. Activated charcoal prevents the poison from getting absorbed by the digestive system. However, the charcoal must be administered within 1-2 hours of poison ingestion. Once the poison has been absorbed, activated charcoal cannot help.
Overdose of drugs with metformin, painkillers, blood pressure medicines, antileprosy medicines(dapsone), malaria medications, and other medicines can be treated with activated charcoal by preventing their absorption in the gut. This treatment also works only within an hour or two of the overdose.
Treatment of Fish Odor Syndrome
Fish odor syndrome is a medical condition in which a rotten fish-smelling substance accumulates in the body due to genetic defects. The fish-smelling compound can bind to activated carbon pores and pass through urine. This reduces the symptoms of the disease.
Reduction of Cholesterol Levels
There is no proper evidence that activated charcoal can alter cholesterol levels. However, studies have shown that it can reduce bad cholesterol levels in the blood and increase good cholesterol levels.
Contaminants like dirt and dust particles, chemicals, toxins, and microbes such as bacteria, fungus, and viruses in water can be filtered with activated charcoal.
Activated charcoal does not alter the taste or pH of water.
Brushing teeth with activated charcoal can remove harmful bacteria, plaque, and teeth-staining compounds from the mouth.
Many kinds of toothpaste already have activated charcoal in them. You can mix a teaspoon of powdered charcoal with your toothpaste before brushing if you do not have one.
Using activated charcoal with your shampoo can help to clear away dandruff, dirt, or impurities accumulated in your scalp. It can, as a result, boost your hair growth.
You must have seen many of your skincare products having activated charcoal in them. Activated charcoal can deep cleanse your skin with its antimicrobial properties. It can draw toxins, dirt, and dead cells to the surface of your skin, making it easier to remove them.
You can use the powdered activated carbon to make scrubs and face masks of your own.
Charcoal is also used in deodorants because it absorbs moisture, odors, and gases.
Stings, minor wounds, infections, and skin irritations can be treated with activated charcoal due to its antimicrobial property.
Gastritis – All You Need to Know
Gastritis is a medical condition where the stomach lining gets inflamed. Gastritis causes different symptoms like nausea, vomiting, burping, loss of appetite, burning sensation in the upper abdomen, pain in the gut, and less commonly, diarrhea. Gastritis, if not treated properly, can lead to stomach ulcers.
Common causes of gastritis include-
Treatments on gastritis usually depend on the specific cause. Proton pump inhibitors and acid blockers help reduce acid production in the stomach, which relieves symptoms of gastritis. In addition, Antacids can help neutralize the acidity in your stomach.
If your gastritis is due to bacterial infections, certain antibiotics can help clear away the infection.
Garlic extract, green tea, and medicinal herbs, among many others, are well-known remedies for reducing symptoms of gastritis.
Gastritis: Management Tips
- Avoid foods that aggravate your gastritis, such as spicy food, fatty foods, sweets, and alcohol. If you cannot tolerate spicy foods, you can use honey, ginger, or other herbs to neutralize spicy foods besides activated carbon.
- Avoid smoking. Smoking is a lead risk factor for gastritis. It can lead to ulcers and cancers as well.
- Reduce your intake of processed meat. The preservatives and nitrites in it can gradually damage your stomach lining.
- Drink an adequate amount of water. Check the pH of your water. Water pH of about 7-8 is good for gastritis patients.
- Insufficient sleep can cause stress and eventually trigger an episode of gastritis. Therefore maintain a proper sleep schedule.
Can activated charcoal cure my hangover?
Answer: Activated charcoal cannot effectively bind to alcohol. Therefore, it cannot clear alcohol away from your system and help to cure your hangover.
Can I use my charcoal bricks to cure my gastritis symptoms?
Answer: Activated charcoal is not the same as charcoal briquettes used for cooking purposes. Please do not use your charcoal bricks to treat your gastritis, as they contain harmful substances. To treat your gastritis symptoms, use only pharmacy-bought activated carbon.
Can activated charcoal help with weight loss?
Answer: There is no scientific evidence of activated carbon being an effective recipe for weight loss. Activated carbon does not bind to or clear away fats and oils from the digestive system.
Can people with kidney disease take activated charcoal?
Answer: Activated charcoal is supposedly known to improve kidney function due to its toxin-binding properties. However, due to the lack of sufficient study on this topic, consult your doctor before starting on activated carbon if you have kidney issues.
The use of activated charcoal for gastritis has become more prevalent in recent years. It effectively alleviates the different symptoms of gastritis due to its porous texture and adsorbing properties.
However, its binding properties can hamper the action of other medications. Therefore, it is always wise to consult with your doctor before you decide on taking activated charcoal.