Heartburn, indigestion, gastritis… what’s really going on in your stomach?
Stomachs growl, gurgle, grumble, and groan. It’s one of the ways that we know something’s going on in there. Figuring out what’s wrong is not always easy because there can be a lot of overlap between the many possible problems. Heartburn, acid reflux (GERD), indigestion (dyspepsia), and stomach inflammation (gastritis) can all share similar symptoms.1,2 Of course, those symptoms can also point to an H. pylori infection.
Even though most people who have an H. pylori infection don’t experience symptoms, visiting your doctor could help determine if there’s something more behind the symptoms that you’re feeling. Treating your symptoms alone could mask an infection and delay more effective treatments.
Masking an H. pylori Infection
Symptoms of an H. pylori infection usually stem from the conditions that the infection can cause rather than the infection itself. Gastritis and dyspepsia can both be caused by H. pylori and without proper treatment these conditions will probably not go away.3 H. pylori can also cause ulcers.
Ulcers aren’t caused by stress or spicy food.
For many years, peptic ulcers were blamed on factors like diet or stress.1 It wasn’t until H. pylori was discovered in 1982 that one of the 2 major causes of ulcers was revealed. The other major cause is NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), which are some of the most commonly used pain relievers available. This means that taking medicines like aspirin or ibuprofen and being infected with H. pylori can make your chances of developing an ulcer even greater.1,3
Up to 14 million people are on NSAID therapy in the United States, and up to 60% of them will have stomach problems as a side effect.4 If you take any of the medicines listed below, it’s a good idea to be aware of the possible risks.
might not be
the cause of your
- Aspirin (Bufferin®, Bayer®, and Excedrin®)
- Celecoxib (Celebrex®)
- Diclofenac (Voltaren®, Cataflam®, Voltaren®-XR)
- Diflunisal (Dolobid®)
- Etodolac (Lodine®, Lodine® XL)
- Ibuprofen (Advil®, Brufen®, Motrin®, Nurofen®, Medipren®, Nuprin®)
- Indomethacin (Indocin®, Indocin® SR, Indocin® IV)
- Ketoprofen (Actron®, Orudis®, Oruvail®, Ketoflam®)
- Ketorolac (Toradol®, Sprix®, Toradol® IV/IM, Toradol® IM)
- Nabumetone (Relafen®)
- Naproxen (Aleve®, Anaprox®, Midol® Extended Relief, Naprosyn®, Naprelan®)
- Oxaporozin (Daypro®, Dayrun®, Duraprox®)
- Piroxicam (Feldene®)
- Rofecoxib (Vioxx®, Ceoxx®, Ceeoxx®)
- Sulindac (Clinoril®)
- Tolmetin (Tolectin®)
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