The Stress-Induced Gastritis: Disease Prevention

Introduction

Disease prevention is a prospective venue for any healthcare organization, as preventing diseases is safer and cheaper in comparison to full-blown treatments. Based on the generic family history form of I.V, the patient is at risk of developing gastritis due to having a history of gastric diseases (GERD), frequent stress at work, and several unhealthy habits (smoking, alcohol intake for sleep). Stress is a modifiable risk factor that has the potential of influencing both the development of gastritis and poor sleeping patterns. The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of stress-induced gastritis, suggest an evidence-based intervention, and compose a teaching plan in order to enable the patient to manage stress, thus reducing the chances of developing gastritis.

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Preventable Disease Overview

Stress-induced gastritis is a disease that causes mucosal erosions and hemorrhages in a person’s stomach due to extreme physiologic or psychological pressure (Kodadek & Jones, 2018). It results in gastrointestinal blood loss and has the potential of causing blood transfusions. Some of the symptoms of gastritis include nausea, abdominal pain, and gnawing feeling in the stomach between meals or at night. The disease is diagnosed by performing an upper endoscopy, blood tests, and stool tests (Kodadek & Jones, 2018). Physical assessment findings associated with gastritis are chest and gastric tenderness, halitosis, and pallor (Kodadek & Jones, 2018).

Some of the signs that hint towards the potential development of gastritis includes frequent abdominal pains, slight skin paleness (pallor), a history of smoking, alcohol intake, poor sleep, and high levels of stress at work. Stress has the potential of causing all of the symptoms mentioned above. The symptoms themselves hint towards gastritis. The disease can cause disturbances in regular sleeping patterns, thus contributing to high levels of stress and forming a cycle that would gradually cause even greater amounts of morbidity.

Evidence-Based Intervention

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) is one of the premier therapy strategies used for managing psychological problems, such as anxiety, depression, and stress. According to a study performed by Marchand (2012), MBCT has similar efficiency to maintenance pharmacotherapy, which is used to prevent relapses and recurrences in patients exposed to stress. However, MBCT is not as invasive and does not have any of the negative side effects associated with pharmacological intake. As such, it can be recommended as a free, safe, and effective tool for patients in order to reduce levels of stress and prevent certain diseases, such as stress-induced gastritis, from occurring. In addition, MBCT is associated with improved sleeping patterns (Marchand, 2012), which would reduce the patient’s reliance on alcohol for sleep.

Short-term goals for this intervention include teaching the patient to perform MBCT and using meditation techniques on a daily basis as a means of reducing stress. Long-term goals would involve improving the overall health status of the patient, reducing the risk of developing stress-induced gastritis, and improving her sleeping patterns. Lastly, the intervention should reduce the woman’s reliance on alcohol by eliminating the need for its intake.

Implementation: Teaching Plan

The teaching plan for this patient would involve teaching her about stress-induced gastritis in order to improve her understanding of the situation, training her to use mindfulness-based techniques (meditation) as a means of reducing stress, and supervising her during the preliminary period of 30 days. Meditation will serve as a replacement for alcohol as means of improving sleeping patterns as well. The patient will be asked to replace alcohol intake at night with 20-30 minutes of meditation (Marchand, 2012). The process would involve finding a quiet place, getting into a comfortable position (sitting or lying down), and emptying one’s mind of all thoughts, thus effectively reaching a state of harmony and peace.

Aside from verbal instructions, the patient will be provided with additional materials to help them understand the treatment and become successful. Brochures on meditation and gastritis will be handed over at the end of the instruction session. Also, the patient will be given a list of addresses where she would be able to practice yoga or group meditation.

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Evaluation

The patient will be evaluated on a monthly basis. It is expected that the primary symptoms of gastritis (pallor, abdominal pains) will subside. Levels of stress will be measured utilizing the ISMA stress questionnaire (ISMA, 2013). If the intervention is successful, levels of stress will be effectively reduced. Lastly, one of the goals of this intervention is to reduce the patient’s reliance on alcohol intake. If successful, alcohol will no longer be used as a means of getting sleep. If none of the following goals is achieved, an additional examination of the disease and its symptoms will be required. Changes in prevention strategy will be made based on lab results.

Summary

Stress-induced gastritis is a disease that has the potential of causing great harm to a person’s digestive system and even cause ulcers and blood transfusions. One of the evidence-based practices used for preventing and coping with stress is MCBT. By learning to meditate as a means of reducing stress and improving sleep patterns, the patient will hopefully become less exposed to the risk of developing gastritis and reduce her reliance on alcohol intake before sleep.

References

ISMA. (2013). Stress questionnaire. Web.

Kodadek, L. M., & Jones, C. (2018). Stress gastritis and stress ulcers: Prevention and treatment. In A. Salim, C. Brown, K. Inaba, & M. J. Martin (Eds.), Surgical critical care therapy (pp. 231-239). New York, NY: Springer.

Marchand, W. R. (2012). Mindfulness-based stress reduction, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, and Zen meditation for depression, anxiety, pain, and psychological distress. Journal of Psychiatric Practice, 18(4), 233-252.

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