What Causes Ulcers?
Discover the different reasons ulcers develop
Just as there are different types of ulcers due to their location along the digestive tract, there are also different mechanisms that can cause ulcers. Here are some factors that can contribute to ulcer development.
Helicobacter pylori bacterium
An overgrowth of the bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) can contribute to the development of stomach ulcers. Normal populations of these bacteria, however, have been shown to provide a protective effect for the esophagus. It is, therefore, important not to eliminate H. pylori entirely from the body as a quick fix for treating ulcers.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen, cortisone derivatives, and alcohol have all been linked to ulcer development. These drugs cause injury to the protective mucosal lining of the stomach, which results in ulceration and bleeding.
Low Melatonin Levels
Another cause of ulcers you rarely, if ever, hear mentioned is low melatonin levels. The trigger for melatonin production in the pineal gland is low light levels. As our society stays up later, uses artificial lighting far into the night, and gets less sleep, our bodies obviously produce less melatonin. Decreased melatonin production has been linked to several health problems including the development of ulcers. Animal studies have shown that increasing melatonin levels by even small amounts can have a dramatic effect in both healing and preventing stress-induced ulcers.
More Dr. Williams Advice on Ulcers
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For more than 25 years, Dr. David Williams has traveled the world researching alternative therapies for our most common health problems—therapies that are inexpensive and easy to use, and therapies that treat the root cause of a problem rather than just its symptoms. More About Dr. Williams
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