Welcome to Healing Well! I have a reactive stomach and often get mild gastritis. In fact, at one time I was hospitalized with HORRIBLE gastritis that kicked up my reflux and also created havoc with my lungs/asthma.
Yes, gastritis can create a situation where reflux is more likely. At least that's the way I always experienced the problem. In my case, it seems that the gastritis always created more acid to send up to my esophagus and lungs.
Some GI docs aren't sold on the effectiveness of Carafate, but I can tell you that as a person who deals with a reactive stomach/gastritis, it is highly effective, and helps a lot. It was developed to help heal ulcers. I saw a new GI doc recently and he said something like "many of us aren't so sure that Carafate is effective". That could be your situation. Still, I suspect you could request a prescription and give it a try.
I always have it on hand, and it helps me tremendously. I've used the tablet form, but the suspension is by far the best. If you have good prescription insurance go that route, since it's very expensive. The tablets are generic, and you can put them in a shot glass or medicine cup, add a little water, stir, and throw it back like a shot. Get the suspension if possible, though.
Carafate is challenging to take. You need to take it an hour before eating anything, and two hours before (or after) taking medication. Also, I believe it needs a half-hour space between Carafate and antacids. I find it helps if I take one dose when I get up to use the bathroom in the wee hours of the morning. That way it's well before my morning meds and breakfast.
Be sure to stay away from foods that are rough and scratchy (raw veggies, popcorn, etc.) when you're having gastritis issues. The stomach muscles churn the stomach during digestion, and those things scratch the already irritated stomach lining. Stick with your bland diet...have you tried egg custard? I had enough reflux to create very painful eating, and when things were at their worst, egg custard was the only thing I could tolerate.
Good luck to you. I feel your pain!
Hang in there, and best wishes!
Nissen Fundoplication 2/09
"Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist, persists.”
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“Accept - then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.”