Treatment focuses on managing your symptoms.
Acute radiation enteritis
If you experience symptoms during radiation therapy, Mayo doctors may reduce or change the radiation dosage. Other options include:
- Anti-diarrhea medication
- Anticholinergic medication to ease bowel spasms
- Dietary changes (reducing consumption of milk and fatty and fiber-rich foods)
Chronic radiation enteritis
If you experience long-term symptoms, Mayo doctors usually recommend the same medications and dietary changes used to treat acute radiation enteritis. For some people, careful control of diet may ease symptoms.
Other options include:
- Nutritional support, either tube feeding into the stomach or small intestine (enteral nutrition) or tube feeding into a vein (total parenteral nutrition) at home. Mayo Clinic has a comprehensive home tube feeding program. Care plans are regularly reassessed to ensure your nutritional needs are met. A Mayo study suggests that under the careful supervision of care providers, some people may be weaned off liquid nutrition.
- Surgery is occasionally needed to remove sections of abnormal bowel.