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STUDY: Variety of germs to blame for ulcers, stomach cancer
JOURNAL: Gastroenterology and the American Journal of Physiology
AUTHORS: Dr. Juanita Merchant
ABSTRACT: Chronic heartburn may keep millions reaching for antacids but taking them may actually make the stomach more hospitable to the bacteria the body is trying to kill and an antibiotic or natural antimicrobial treatment may be a better choice, researchers said.
COMMENTARY: TWO REPORTS published this week suggest that a variety of bacteria may be responsible for the inflammation that causes ulcers and stomach cancer. The studies — done so far only in mice — build on the recent and startling discovery that the bacteria Helicobacter pylori is behind most cases of stomach cancer. It turns out that H. pylori may be just one of many bacterial culprits and drugs used to lower stomach acidity may actually promote the growth of these other bacteria.
You don’t want to block acid secretion over the long term just to treat either the bacterial overgrowth or the Helicobacter infection, because that’s going to potentially create other problems by creating an environment that supports bacterial overgrowth.
Antibiotics or natural anti microbials should be used to treat such bacterial overgrowth, which will restore the normal acid-control mechanism. The strongest acid blockers are the most dangerous to use long-term.
In treating patients with gastrointestinal disorders, physicians usually aim to increase the pH of the stomach (lower its acidity) ... to try to protect their stomach linings from ulceration — which physicians initially believed was due only to stomach acid.
It is probably the body’s response to the bacteria that is causing the damage that leads to ulcers and stomach cancer. It doesn’t matter whether it is Helicobacter or bacterial overgrowth. The stomach reacts the same.
The possibility that strong acid blockers may become available over the counter, without a doctor’s prescription and that people may stay on them long term and create problems for themselves is a huge issue.
Try to eat right so that you don't need acid blocking agents. These only set you up for problems down the road. Generally following the BTD eliminates any heartburn or GERD symptoms.
Remember don't mask one problem by creating another.