Healthy Living

Gastroenteritis: The Treatment Options

Gastroenteritis

Gastroenteritis: The Treatment Options

Key Takeaways

  • Acid blockers. These are medications aimed at reducing acid production. Histamine blockers play a crucial role in reducing the volume of acid released into the digestive system, which in turn alleviates the pain associated with gastritis and accelerates quick healing. They are available through prescription or as over-the-counter drugs. Acid blockers include nizatidine, ranitidine, famotidine, and cimetidine.
  • Antibiotic medications. Antibiotics are meant to kill the H. pylori present in the digestive tract. Sometimes, your doctor might suggest a combination of antibiotic drugs like amoxicillin, clarithromycin, and metronidazole, to destroy the bacterium. Ensure that you take all your prescription medications, which often last for 10-14 days.
  • Antacids focused at neutralizing the stomach acidity. Your doctor might include antacids in your dosage. Antacids neutralize all stomach acids and can rapidly relief the pain. Side effects of antacids may include diarrhea and constipation.
  • Medications that prevent acid production and support quick healing. Certain inhibitors referred to as proton-pump inhibitors suppress stomach acid by blocking the cells responsible for its production. Prolonged use of proton-pump inhibitors, especially at high doses, might increase your chances of developing a spine, hip, and wrist fracture. Be sure to ask your physician if calcium supplements can minimize the risk.

Treatments for gastroenteritis vary depending on the underlying cause. Normally, acute gastritis caused by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications and alcohol can be lessened by stopping the usage of such substances. On the other hand, chronic arthritis occurs due to an H. pylori infection, which is often treated with antibiotics. For most cases, treatments are taken to reduce the stomach’s acidity and promote complete healing of gastroenteritis.

Some medications used to treat gastroenteritis include acid blockers. These are medications aimed at reducing acid production. Histamine blockers play a crucial role in reducing the volume of acid released into the digestive system, which in turn alleviates the pain associated with gastritis and accelerates quick healing.

Acid blockers that are available through prescription or as over-the-counter drugs:

  • Nizatidine
  • Ranitidine
  • Famotidine
  • Cimetidine

Antibiotics are meant to kill the H. pylori present in the digestive tract. Sometimes, your doctor might suggest a combination of antibiotic drugs like amoxicillin, clarithromycin, and metronidazole, to destroy the bacterium. Ensure that you take all your prescription medications, which often last for 10-14 days. Your doctor might include antacids focused at neutralizing the stomach acidity since antacids neutralize all stomach acids and can rapidly relief the pain. The side effects of antacids may include diarrhea and constipation.

Medications that prevent acid production support quick healing. Certain inhibitors referred to as proton-pump inhibitors suppress stomach acid by blocking the cells responsible for its production. Prolonged use of proton-pump inhibitors, especially at high doses, might increase your chances of developing a spine, hip, and wrist fracture. Be sure to ask your physician if calcium supplements can minimize the risk. These drugs include:

  • Pantoprazole
  • Lansoprazole
  • Rabeprazole or AcipHex
  • Dexlansopraxole
  • Esomeprazole or Nexium

Tests and Diagnosis

Though your medical practitioner might identify gastritis after studying your previous medical history and performing a physical examination, you might also undergo a series of tests to establish the exact cause. The tests might include:

Endoscopy: These tests are done to examine the upper part of the digestive system. This is sometimes referred to as EGD, which stands for esophagogastroduodenoscopy. During this process, your doctor gently passes a flexible tube consisting of an endoscope down the throat, esophagus, stomach, and finally into the small intestine. By means of the endoscope, your physician might identify signs of inflammation. If any suspicious signs are found, the affected tissues can be removed for laboratory examination.

X-ray tests: Also known as gastrointestinal tests. X-rays check and generate detailed images of the esophagus, small intestine, and stomach. To make the ulcerous wounds more visible, you swallow whitish metallic liquids that coat your digestive system. 

In addition to the above tests, your doctor might recommend additional tests to check if you have the H. pylori bacteria. The kind of tests you’ll go through depends on the severity of your condition. H. pylori might be detected through blood, stool, and breath tests. As for the breast test, you’ll drink some liquid containing radioactive carbon. The H. pylori bacteria will then break down the liquid inside the stomach. Later, you’ll blow into a bag that’s completely sealed. If you are infected with H.pylori, the breath sample will definitely contain radioactive carbon. If it’s found that you’re suffering from gastroenteritis, proper treatment will be prescribed for you.

Several treatment options are available but they vary depending on the severity and frequency of your condition.