Gastritis pain is often relieved with the use of medications that reduce acid levels in the stomach. Most pain relating to this condition is caused by the inflammation of the stomach lining, which creates a painful, burning sensation. Anti-inflammatory drugs, like aspirin and ibuprofen, may occasionally worsen the pain, so they are typically not used. Antacids, acid blockers, and proton pump inhibitors are often either prescribed by a medical professional or purchased over the counter to help control the condition. There are also some home remedies that may help control this type of pain.
Most people can ease their minor gastritis pain by using antacids. These medicines work by neutralizing the acid present in the stomach, which may reduce the burning sensation many sufferers experience. Very severe gastritis may not be responsive to over-the-counter antacids, and if you experience no relief after taking one, you should see a medical professional before increasing the dosage. Taking too many antacids over a short period of time can cause other problems, including severe constipation and kidney damage.
If you do not find relief from antacid use, you may benefit from taking acid blockers. These may be either prescribed by a healthcare professional or purchased over the counter. Most acid blockers contain cimetidine or famotidine, which are chemicals that lessen the amount of acid your stomach produces. Over-the-counter acid blockers generally work well for most people, but stronger prescription medicines may be necessary for treating very severe gastritis.
Proton pump inhibitors are other medications that you can use to treat gastritis pain. There are many popular brand-name products available over the counter at most drug stores as well as prescribed brands. These may be extremely beneficial for treating gastritis that is not responsive to any other medication. Your stomach has tiny pumps inside its cells that produce acid, and this medication shuts them down temporarily, which can provide pain relief.
In addition to medications, there are things you can do at home to help relieve this condition. Drinking lots of water is very important when your stomach is secreting excess acid, and it is also a good idea to avoid dairy products, which may actually increase the amount of acid in your stomach and cause more pain. It is also a good idea to sleep with your head elevated rather than lying flat because this will put gravity on your side. When you sit up, it is harder for the acid in your stomach to travel upward and cause you discomfort. It may also help to chew some licorice about 30 minutes before each meal you eat because it has some natural acid-fighting properties.