Taking acid inhibiting drugs could make ulcers worse

Scientists at the University of Michigan Medical School, published in found that antibiotics were the best way to kill the bacteria that cause gastritis and eliminate stomach inflammation. Mice given drugs called proton pump inhibitors (like Prilosec and Prevacid) to block acid production had more bacteria and inflammation than mice that were not given the drugs.

Actually, the body may increase acid production as a way to protect the stomach against bacteria. Inhibiting the acid production makes the situation worse, making the stomach more vulnerable to bacterial infestation.  Aboutthree-quarters of gastritis sufferers test positive for Helicobacter pylori. Other kinds of bacteria can cause inflammation as well. These other bacteria often co-exist with Helicobacter.

Helicobacter  is not affected by stomach acid, so the researchers had to eliminate it from the mice that were tested. They compared mice who were genetically gastrin deficient (gastrin is a hormone that causes the stomach to produce acid). The gastrin-deficient mice were more prone to inflammation. Both the gastrin deficient mice and the normal mice had increased stomach inflammation when given the proton pump inhibitor.

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