Can you say Helicobacter pylori? Sounds like something that came out of a science fiction novel, right? Well, as of 1982, doctors discovered that this little bacteria with the big name was the main contributing cause for a person to get a stomach ulcer.
An ulcer by it's very definition is not something you want to be looking at, unless you're a doctor. Luckily for us, stomach ulcers are on the inside of our bodies and therefore invisible to us. That might also explain a lot of things, like the fact that we mistake an ulcer for something like heartburn, or indigestion instead of what it really is.
But to continue on, up until this great discovery of the Helicobacter pylori bacteria, doctors always contributed an ulcer to a combination of too much stress, and too much spicy foods. Helicobacter pylori, or H. pylori as we shall henceforth call it, blew this theory to bits simply by its existence.
And although a surprisingly large number of people are walking around with the H. pylori bacteria in their stomach, not every one of these people will actually get an ulcer. Suffice it to say that there could be many reasons for this, including perhaps, the actual type of H. pylori bacteria that is within your stomach, the acids in your stomach, or a number of reasons along those lines.
However, since most of the adult population lives in fear of getting an ulcer, I think it behoves me to explain in the simplest possible terms, what an ulcer is.
To start with your stomach has a mucous lining that coats the walls to protect it from the acids that reside within it. These acids are vital in the process of digesting your food, and are present all the time within your intestine.
In some people however, the Helicobacter pylori bacteria will also reside within the intestine, and depending on certain factors, will act and weaken or erode the mucous lining of your stomach. This in turn will give rise to the acid, attacking the weakened walls, ultimately causing your ulcer.
Treatments for an ulcer come in many different forms, with antacids being the simplest of them. However, if you check with your doctor, you may be able to find a medicine that's more suitable to your type of ulcer.
As always, I can't stress enough how important it is to see your doctor if you're feeling unwell. Your body is a finely tuned organ, and may be sending you messages that you just aren't receiving due to wrong self diagnosis. So, stay off the stress, stop reading all those medical journals, unless you're a doctor, and listen intently when your body is telling you something.