Successfully treating a bacterial infection of the stomach can involve several common treatments regardless of the type of bacteria. Killing the bacteria is key, but the stomach is an organ with a delicate balance. Therefore, it can also be beneficial to temporarily take medication that will reduce stomach acid while the stomach heals and that balance is restored.
Gastroenteritis is a common bacterial infection of the stomach that occurs when an individual eats bad food or drinks contaminated water. One of the most important ways to treat this condition is to eat ice and drink liquids such as fruit juice in order to replace vital nutrients and fluids lost during the bouts of diarrhea that go along with the infection. Bland foods such as toast and potatoes will also help settle the stomach. If a medical professional can determine exactly what kind of bacteria are causing the gastrointestinal distress, antibiotics may be prescribed. In most instances, however, fluids and a plain diet are enough to get the individual through the illness as it runs its course.
Some types of ulcers are also caused by a bacterial infection in the stomach. Peptic ulcers can be a painful condition in which bacteria begin to eat through the stomach lining. Antibiotics are often prescribed to kill the bacteria, and other types of medication can also be used to manage the symptoms and give the stomach a chance to heal. Those that contain bismuth can be used to create a protective coating, giving extra protection against stomach acid. Medications similar to those that prevent heartburn and acid reflux can also be taken, and these will help reduce the amount of stomach acid produced.
Certain types of medications can wear away the protective coating in the lining, making it more vulnerable to damage caused by bacterial infections. It is generally advised to avoid aspirin while recovering from such infections. Alcohol and exposure to cigarette smoke can also prolong the illness and make overcoming the infection more difficult.
On the other hand, some foods can have a soothing effect for an individual with a bacterial infection of the stomach. Yogurt, especially types reinforced with probiotics, can help soothe an angry stomach. Some vitamins can also help the body fight off a bacterial infection by boosting the immune system. Increasing the amount of vitamin A in the diet or taking supplements can help the immune system attack bacterial invaders.