Do you take antacids, but find they don?t work? If so, you?re not alone. Two-thirds of people who have bloating, nausea, and recurring pain after eating don?t respond to antacids. Until recently, we didn?t know why. But a new study solves this mystery and points the way to a much better solution for stomach pain.
Astra Zeneca - the pharmaceutical company that brings you Prilosec - recently funded a study that discovered the reason. The researchers said that inflammation in the duodenum is a primary cause. And now that we know the problem is inflammation, all you have to do is find the cause. Then make the necessary adjustments to fix the problem.
Your duodenum, the section of your small intestines that connects to your stomach, is where most digestion and nutrient absorption takes place. That?s also where these researchers found unusually high amounts of immune cells called eosinophils. Eosinophils fight parasites. But that?s not all they do. They also are common with allergic reactions. And allergies can cause inflammation.
Dr. Nicholas J. Tallely, MD, head researcher of this study, thinks that in many cases, an allergic reaction to some foods causes stomach pain. His team already ruled out such causes as infections, gluten intolerance, and cancer. "I believe food intolerance can lead to motor and sensory abnormalities that are perceived as pain and discomfort," he said.
If you have stomach pain and antacids haven?t helped, you may want to rule out food allergies before you take an antacid. Completely avoid one or two foods you think may be causing discomfort for two full weeks. Then try it by itself and see if you get a reaction. If so, stop eating this food for several months.
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You could also try taking an anti-inflammatory supplement, such as InflaThera (ProThera 888-488-2488) or Padma Basic
. It?s less expensive and twice as potent as anti-inflammatory supplements you can find in your local health food stores. Information on both of these subjects can be found on my website and are free to all newsletter subscribers. If you?re not yet a subscriber, you may want to sign up now.
Your voice of reason in Women's Health,
Dr. Janet Zand
Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, September 2007.