my son is alcoholic; has periodic times when no food
Detailed answer and advises given below
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