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W
hat Doctors Don't Tell You
 

ULCERS & INDIGESTION
DEVELOPING GOOD GUT SENSE

© What Doctors Don't Tell You (Volume 9, Issue 5)

Talk to your doctor, too, if you have any suggestion of a heart condition or a family history of heart problems, especially if you are also troubled with digestive disorders. Peptic ulcers have a strong association with heart disease. An inflamed and infected gut is likely to disturb your health in some other way, too. Researchers are looking into the possibility that the inflammation this bacteria causes may be responsible for some cases of coronary heart disease. It has been estimated that those infected with Helicobacter pylori (who remain untreated) are twice as likely to suffer heart disease and six times more likely to develop stomach cancer.

Dr Michael Menial of St George's Hospital in London believes that the rise and fall of figures for heart disease can't be explained away by cholesterol control or advice to quit smoking. It's suspected that H pylori infection may raise the clotting factor of the blood, increasing the risk of clogged arteries and heart disease.

In some people the symptoms of under acidity can be identical to those of over acidity. As we age, our stomach acid production slows down. This means that some food may not be broken down properly, leading to distension, pain, gas production and explosive belching. There can still be burning discomfort (called pyrosis), even in the absence of acid. Bad breath, foul smelling wind, constipation, sore tongue and metallic tastes are other symptoms. Helicobacter pylori has even been implicated by one study as a possible cause of food allergies.

Dr Marshall has found that patients infected with H pylori can produce up to six times more acid than normal (the body's natural response to the infection) but also that, in some patients, the bacteria itself inhibits that production of stomach acid, increasing the likelihood of achlorhydria or hypochlorhy dria non existent or limited levels of acid.

If your present medication is not helping you or if the condition returns immediately the drugs are stopped talk again with your GP. A simple test which can determine whether you are producing too much or too little hydrocholoric acid, along with a speedy and easy breath test for Helicobacter pylori is now available.

Another possible cause of stomach upsets is lactose intolerance. This occurs when there is a deficiency of the lactase enzyme, needed to break down lactose, the natural sugar content of milk. The condition may be inherited (known as primary intolerance) or acquired, due to stomach surgery, infections or ageing as we grow older, our bodies produce progressively less lactase. Those with coeliac disease, Crohn's disease, leaky gut syndrome or ulcerative colitis may find it difficult not only to deal with lactose but also to digest cow's milk protein. Allergic reactions to cow's milk seem increasingly common in young children, too.

When lactose is allowed to pass through the digestive system untouched by lactase, it's left to the Lactobaccillus bacteria to do the digesting. (The same kind of bacteria used outside the body to make yoghurt from milk.) Unfortunately, it's often the case that those with digestive troubles already have reduced levels of the friendly bacteria. The upshot is that any leftover lactose is likely to be leapt upon by not so friendly gas forming bacteria who leave abdominal bloating, colic and diarrhoea in their wake. Many of these symptoms are similar to those of IBS.

Where the production of lactase is limited but not lacking completely, the condition is sometimes referred to as lactose maldigestion.

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About The Author
What Doctors Don’t Tell You is one of the few publications in the world that can justifiably claim to solve people's health problems - and even save lives. Our monthly newsletter gives you the facts you won't read anywhere else about what works, what doesn't work and what may harm you in both orthodox and alternative medicine. We'll also tell you how you can prevent illness.......more
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