Common bacteria cause ulcers

July 30, 2010 7:01:49 PM PDT
Most people think stress is the cause of ulcers, but that is not always the case. Common bacteria that cause the bloating, pain and nausea associated with ulcers could actually be stomach dyspepsia.

The infection is so common, doctors at the Mayo Clinic say one in five people have it. The good news is it's easy to treat.

Kirk Thompson thought his stomach problems were caused by the stress of coaching.

"I must be a glutton for punishment. It gives me a lot of headaches a lot of stress. Coaching is stressful. But i really like working with the kids," said Thompson.

It turns out that Thompson's symptoms were really caused by a bacteria called H. Pylori.

Nicholas Talley, M.D. of the Mayo Clinic said, "It's a bacteria that you acquire as a child and once you acquire the bacteria, it lives with you until you pass away- Its life-long companion."

H. Pylori cause inflammation in the stomach. The inflammation can cause ulcers, which could lead to bleeding and an increased risk of stomach cancer. It is a small risk, but a real one.

According to Dr. Talley, treatment with antibiotics and other medications can be effective for four out of five people who have the bacteria.

After treatment, Thompson's symptoms aren't completely gone, but he says they're much better. Now he can concentrate on his team instead of his stomach.

There is one drawback of H. Pylori treatment. Some people may experience heartburn afterwards. If so, talk to your health care provider about getting treatment for that symptom.