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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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my son is alcoholic; has periodic times when no food

Answered by
Dr. Antoneta Zotaj

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 3766 Questions

Posted on Sat, 16 Mar 2019 in Digestion and Bowels
Question: my son is alcoholic; has periodic times when no food or water will stay down and is in an episode now. he has complicated this one by using the Nicorette patch, as well as Mucinex to control allergies. he also has taken Zantac to help control stomach ailment. he has had previous episodes which he manages by slowly re-hydrating and has successfully worked through them, but this time has had the illness since last Monday (six days). He is doing better now, can keep a little water down so long as he doesn't overdo with too much, but no food. and his vomit contains lots of brown flecks. the question: what is this most likely to be (he has been told by other doctors it is colonitis, or gastro enteritis) but we have no insurance and admitting him to hospital will result in at least four days of care, I fear. is there anything you can do to 1-help me determine what it is so that we might treat without a bunch of lab work? I don't think they will accept him as we already have lab and hospital bills outstanding.
Answered by Dr. Antoneta Zotaj 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Detailed answer and advises given below

Detailed Answer:

I carefully went through your question and here is my advice:
- he needs to eat and drink in frequent small amounts, if he is throwing up the stomach is upset and big amounts of water or food might irritate it; he should take a sip of water or a bite of food every 5-10 minutes. This needs patience but works well.
- he should avoid food that is acidic, spicy or fatty or that he knows will irritate his stomach. He should get home prepared food mostly plane, no fried food, no junk food. Fruit and vegetables are easier tolerated, some milk, cheese, yogurt if he feels he can tolerate it, eggs if he feels he is able to tolerate them, plane soups, etc.
- people using alcohol have lack of thiamine and low glucose so he might need to get some supplements with thiamine (vitamin B 1) and also get some sugar here and there (needs to be caustious so he does not get nauseated due to use of too much sugar)
- metochlopramide is a drug to use to help with the nausea and vomiting; it is taken 10 mg every 8 hours, he should not take water or food 30 minutes after taking it so he does not throw it up because if he throws it up it might be unsafe to repeat it.
- domperidone is another alternative used the same way (can take this if he can not take metochlopramide)
- Zantac is good to reduce stomach acids and help so I would encourage him to continue to use it. Sometimes Omeprazole or Lansoprazole are more effective and would be a better option (should not be taken with Zantac, so if he takes omeprazole or lansoprazole he should not take zantac)
- meanwhile I understand that not having insurance cover makes it difficult to have medical care but because he is over 40 years old and has been using alcohol he needs an upper endoscopy (gatroesophageal endoscopy) to visualize the stomach mucosa to rule out peptic ulcer or masses in the stomach especially because he gets those brown flecks with the vomits (to rule out bleeding).

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.

Dr. Antoneta Zotaj,
General & Family Physician
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T

The User accepted the expert's answer

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