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Can You Get Ulcers from Stress

Can You Get Ulcers from Stress

Answer:

You cannot get ulcers from stress.

More Info: Ninety-percent of ulcers are caused by bacteria while the remainder are cause by higher stomach acid levels than normal.

A key moment with regards to the scientific understanding of what causes ulcers occurred in 1982. That’s when doctors Barry Marshall and Robin Warren isolated a stomach bacteria, H. pylori, that causes ulcers. They won the Nobel Prize for their discovery, and set the medical profession on course for a readjustment. Prior to this discovery, stress and other factors such as alcohol and spicy foods were wrongly tagged as the leading cause of ulcers.

High Bacteria Ratio

While 90% of people who suffer from ulcers have the H. pylori bacteria, many others with it in their stomachs do not develop ulcers. Researchers are still trying to figure out why only some of this broad base of H. pylori carriers develop ulcers. But overall, the amount of stomach acid secreted by an individual is what counts, not stress.

The H. pylori bacteria is able to weaken the protective coating in both the stomach and upper intestine. As a result, stomach acid is then able to seep through and make direct contact with more sensitive tissues underneath. Ulcers, or sores, are the result of this direct, irritating contact.

Diabolical Bacteria

One of the reasons stress was automatically ascribed as a cause of ulcers is that the stomach was considered an environment too harsh for a bacteria to survive. But H. pylori requires less oxygen, enabling it to thrive in the recesses of the stomach’s lining.

Another aspect of H. pylori’s ability to navigate the high acidity of the stomach is its corkscrew design. This allows the bacteria to burrow into the thick mucus layer of the stomach and even better, maintain traction once it has dug in. It’s perhaps hard to imagine, but this tiny bacteria also has flagella that act as little propellers. Think of the H. pylori as an excellent swimmer that can also resist the strong muscle contractions used by the human body to pass food and liquids through the stomach

 

REFERENCES:

KidsHealth.org – Ulcers, Retrieved December 1, 2011 from http://kidshealth.org/teen/diseases_conditions/digestive/ulcers.html

(2) National Institutes of Health – Ulcers: The Culprit is H. Pylori, Retrieved December 1, 2011 from http://science.education.nih.gov/home2.nsf/Educational+ResourcesResource+FormatsOnline+Resources+High+School/928BAB9A176A71B585256CCD00634489

 

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