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STOMACH ACHE

ANCHOR LEAD: IF YOU HAVE A CHRONICALLY UPSET STOMACH, DOES THAT MEAN ULCERS?  ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

Family physicians have recently been advised to treat patients who have chronically upset stomachs – a condition referred to as dyspepsia – as though they were infected with Helicobacter pylori, the organism that causes most stomach ulcers.  Treatment involves antibiotic therapy.  But Mark Donowitz, professor of gastroenterology at Johns Hopkins and current president of the American Gastroenterological Association, doesn’t agree. 

DONOWITZ:  The data as far as I know is not in favor of that approach.  The dyspepsia is a vague syndrome and we don’t really understand what its cause is due to, and when it has been treated as if it were an ulcer with H. pylori therapy, or with treating it as an ulcer with suppression of acid with proton pump inhibitors, the studies so far as I know have not supported that you have actually helped the patient.           :27

Donowitz is in favor of a more comprehensive look at possible causes of dyspepsia.  I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.

 


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