Remember hearing about ulcers as a child? Remember hearing that worrying caused ulcers? People used to say, ‘Stop fretting about it – you’ll give yourself an ulcer.’
Millions of dollars have been spent on prescription drugs and over the counter medications to ease the burning and pain of an ulcer by reducing the amount of stomach acid produced. People who had very bad ulcers sometimes had surgery to cut the vagus nerve to the stomach. Ulcers sometimes rupture right through the wall of the stomach, spilling the contents directly into the abdomen. This very painful condition requires surgery to repair the hole in the stomach and wash out the abdomen before serious infection sets in.
The good news is this: we now know that bacteria cause ulcers. An ulcer is an infection. The bacterium was isolated in 1982 and research has since shown that it causes stomach ulcers, duodenal ulcers and stomach cancer in humans. Research has also developed treatment strategies using combinations of drugs that kill all of the bacteria and totally cure the ulcers.
An ulcer is a sore on the inside wall of the stomach caused by a colony of bacteria growing there. The name of the bacterium is Helicobacter Pylori. How can a bacterium live in your stomach when there is a stew of food and hydrochloric acid sloshing around in there? Easy. The bacteria hide themselves in the mucous that covers and protects the walls of your stomach. The bacteria surround themselves with a cloud of protective enzymes that fight off your immune response cells and live on the food and the dead white cells that were sent to destroy it.
How do you get these bacteria into your stomach? How does anything get into your stomach – you swallow it. The research on this is not clear yet, but you may get infected from kissing your grandmother goodnight or by swallowing food containing the bacteria, or by letting your dog lick your face. There are a very few ulcers caused by taking aspirin, or some kinds of prescription drugs, and some people who have the bacteria in their stomachs do not develop ulcers. Thirty percent of Americans have this bacterium in their stomachs.
Almost every stomach cancer patient tests positive for infection with Helicobacter Pylori. Over half of the world’s population has this bacterium in their stomachs and intestines. There is now a blood test and two different breath tests to determine if the bacterium is present.
Treatment consists of a combination of antibiotics over 14 days. That’s it. Fourteen days and it’s gone. People have suffered for many years and all it takes if fourteen days and most infections are gone. There have been a few cases where the bacterium is resistant to the antibiotics and a different combination is used, but in all cases of infection, the colony of organisms can be killed off completely.
There is no need for anyone to suffer from ulcers. If you have ulcers you should immediately see your health care provider and ask for the blood test or the breath test to see if you have this bacterium in your body. If your health care provider will not provide this test for you or tells you that ulcers are caused by stress, then your health care provider has not been keeping up on the most recent scientific findings and you should see someone else. Think of all the money you could save and think of all the suffering you have had to put up with over the years. It could be over in fourteen days.