Gastritis Treatment Overview
First steps to consider
- See a healthcare provider to find out what is causing your gastritis and to get prescription medication if needed.
- OTC medications like proton pump inhibitors, antacids, histamine blockers, and bismuth subsalicylate can help relieve stomach pain and nausea that’s not caused by the H. pylori bacteria.
Go to the ER if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Vomiting blood
- Blood in your stools
- Black, tarry stools
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When to see a healthcare provider
If you think you have gastritis, you should always see a healthcare provider. Gastritis is often caused by an H. pylori infection, which can’t be treated with just home treatments.
If tests show you have H. pylori, your doctor will prescribe medication to treat the infection. They may also prescribe medication to reduce the amount of acid in your stomach.
How to test for gastritis
Your healthcare provider may diagnose gastritis based on your symptoms and a physical exam. But they may order tests to figure out what’s causing it. Tests may include a stool, breath, or blood test. In some cases, your doctor may want to do an upper endoscopy to examine your stomach lining and to remove a sample (biopsy) of stomach tissue. You will need to be sedated.
What to expect from your visit
- If H. pylori bacteria is the cause, you will be prescribed antibiotics for 10–14 days.
- Your doctor may prescribe a proton pump inhibitor to reduce the amount of acid in your stomach.
Prescription gastritis medications
- Antibiotics: clarithromycin (Biaxin XL), amoxicillin (Augmentin), metronidazole (Flagyl)
- Proton pump inhibitors: rabeprazole (Aciphex), pantoprazole (Protonix)
Types of gastritis providers
- A primary care provider can treat gastritis.
- Gastroenterologists, who specialize in treating the digestive system, can do additional testing and may know about other treatment options.
How to manage gastritis at home
Symptoms of gastritis, like stomach pain and nausea, that aren’t caused by the bacteria H. pylori may be controlled by taking OTC medications and making lifestyle and dietary changes. If you think you have gastritis, you should always see a doctor to confirm the diagnosis and identify the cause because this helps guide treatment.
Depending on why you have gastritis, your symptoms should go away within a few weeks of treatment or after stopping whatever may be causing it.
How to relieve gastritis pain fast
- Proton pump inhibitors such as Prilosec and Nexium reduce the amount of acid produced by your stomach.
- Antacids like Maalox help neutralize acid in the stomach.
- Histamine blockers like Pepcid and Tagamet reduce the production of acid.
- Bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol) can treat diarrhea, nausea, and upset stomach.
OTC gastritis medications
- Proton pump inhibitors: omeprazole (Prilosec), esomeprazole (Nexium), lansoprazole (Prevacid)
- Antacids: simethicone systemic (Maalox), calcium carbonate (Tums), aluminum hydroxide/magnesium hydroxide/simethicone suspension (Mylanta)
- Histamine blockers: famotidine (Pepcid), cimetidine (Tagamet)
- Bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol)
How can I get rid of gastritis at home?
- If your gastritis is from drinking or smoking, your doctor will recommend you stop these habits.
- If gastritis is from taking ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), or aspirin (for pain or arthritis, for example), your doctor may recommend lowering the dosage or changing what you are using.
- Avoid foods that can cause symptoms, like fried foods, greasy foods, spicy foods, and foods high in acid like citrus fruits.
- Eat a healthy anti-gastritis diet. Foods that can help symptoms include high-fiber foods (whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans), low-fat foods (fish, lean meat, vegetables), and foods with low acidity (vegetables, beans).
- Avoid foods that may irritate the stomach. These include foods that are fried, pickled, spicy, and are high in acid and fat.
- Drinks to avoid are alcohol, carbonated drinks, juices, and caffeinated drinks like coffee and tea.
- Eat smaller, more frequent meals.
- Quit smoking.
- Reduce the amount of alcohol you drink.