Gastritis treatment varies depending on what is causing it. Some common treatments for many different types of gastritis include antibiotics, proton pump inhibitors, and antacids. Acid-blocking medications are also frequently used for gastritis treatment. Many of these medicines are available only by prescription, while some others may be purchased over the counter. Doctors usually suggest changes in diet and lifestyle in addition to prescribing medication for both the treatment of gastritis and to prevent future problems with it.
Antibiotics are the usual form of gastritis treatment when the root cause of the illness is H. pylori bacteria, or Helicobacter pylori. This bacteria can pass easily from one person to another, but it doesn't always cause symptoms in everyone. When a person does experience problems from this bacteria, it is usually related to gastritis. In addition to antibiotics, proton pump inhibitors may be used in combination with over-the-counter acid medication, such as pink bismuth. The antibiotics are usually able to kill the bacteria, while the acid medication can normally ease gastritis pain.
Proton pump inhibitors are often either prescribed or recommended by doctors for gastritis treatment. There are pumps inside the cells of the stomach lining that produce acid, and this medication may be able to effectively shut these pumps down. This form of gastritis treatment is usually very effective and helps to relieve gastritis symptoms in most people. Proton pump inhibitors are available in over-the-counter as well as prescription form. The over-the-counter proton pump inhibitors are not typically as effective as the prescription form, but may work well for someone with minor gastritis problems.
Other medicines often used for gastritis treatment are antacids and acid blockers. Antacids are typically available over the counter and work to neutralize the acid inside the stomach. Additionally, antacids are usually very affordable and readily available, but do not always work well for severe forms of gastritis. A person who experiences no relief from gastritis after taking antacids for a day or so may need to see a doctor for other treatment options and also to make sure she doesn't have a more serious underlying problem.
Acid blockers are usually prescribed by doctors, but are also available in over-the-counter form. They are frequently used as an alternative when over-the-counter antacids won't take care of gastritis symptoms. This medicine can help to limit the amount of acid the stomach produces, which might ease symptoms and eliminate gastritis when used over the course of several days. Some people have ongoing problems with gastritis and may need to take medicines like these on a regular basis. People with gastritis, such as the type caused by the H. pylori bacteria, can usually stop taking gastritis medication shortly after symptoms disappear and their doctors allow it.
In addition to taking medicine, a person might also be advised to change his eating habits for the purpose of dealing with chronic gastritis. Very acidic foods tend to increase the likelihood of a person experiencing gastritis symptoms. A doctor might also suggest that a person cut back on alcohol use and quit smoking to treat problems with gastritis. Coffee and pain relievers are two other things that, when used in excess, can contribute to gastritis. Making these changes may not eliminate gastritis right away, but it could help with the symptoms and may also prevent the recurrence of the illness.