[Có thể bạn chưa biết] The way medicine finds the cause of stomach pain

[Có thể bạn chưa biết] The way medicine finds the cause of stomach pain

In 1984, a daring Australian doctor named Barry Marshall made a risky decision. Too many of his patients complained of writhing abdominal pain caused by stomach ulcers. At that time, there were only a few treatments to relieve pain symptoms and many patients were hospitalized or even operated.

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Determined to find the answer, Dr. Marshall swallowed a sample containing bacteria from the patient's stomach. Soon after, he also experienced similar abdominal pain and vomiting. Ten days later, the endoscopic camera was inserted into his abdomen to observe and detect Marshall's stomach suffering from the same type of bacteria of the patient with many ulcers or redness in the stomach.


Dr. Marshall's bold idea rejected the misconceptions that the medical community still insisted was right: the pain stems from stress, food or too much gastric juice. Marshall concludes that the main culprit is infection from bacteria. Initially, his idea was considered crazy by the greatest brains in the world in the medical field. But by 2005, he and Dr. Robin Warren were eventually recognized for winning the Nobel Prize in health.

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Our stomach is a rich ecosystem affected by hormones and chemicals. The stomach is often attacked by digestive enzymes, bile fluids, proteins, bacteria and its own fluids. To protect themselves, the stomach that produces Prostaglandins includes Bicarbonate, mucus and phospholipids that prevent it from digesting itself. This delicate balance is constantly adjusted and affects the lining of the stomach.

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From the mid-19th century, doctors thought that most stomach pain was caused by stress. Patients are given antidepressants or tranquilizers and are advised to go to health care centers. This ultimately leads to the notion that spicy and stressful food is the culprit. There is no convincing evidence that sad emotions, stressful psychological states or hot spicy foods directly cause pain.

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By the middle of the twentieth century, the cause of the excess of hydrochloric acid that led to the stomach eroding itself sounded more plausible and was widely recognized. But the theory's biggest flaw is that antacids only temporarily reduce symptoms. Although there are rare cases caused by excess hydrochloric acid in the stomach, they only account for 1% in all cases.

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Dr. Marshall and Warren after the study identified those who caused the disease as a spiral-like bacterium called H.pylori. H.pylori is one of the oldest human companions of 50,000 years ago and is now found in the body of about 50% of the world's population. But when the environment in the stomach changes and the number of H.pylori bacteria increases too much, what comes comes.

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Previously, we thought that the stomach was a place that could not live because the harsh environment was full of acid. However, H.pyroli produces an enzyme called Urease that helps protect them from the surrounding acid environment and can create more than 1,500 different types of proteins that disturb the gastric juice, destroying the lining of the stomach lining. . Since that makes the agents seem to separate as acid, spicy, alcohol, … can hurt and cause stomach ulcers.


Individual genes, cures, cigarettes and the diversity of H.pyroli all contribute to the severity of stomach pain. In particular, analgesic therapies of other diseases such as arthritis also have a positive effect on H.pylori, leading to more severe stomach pain.

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Dr. Marshall is still fine after that famous and risky experiment. He took a group of antibiotics similar to those currently used to treat ulcers. Antibiotic treatment is a major achievement instead of surgery. Marshall's research also reminds us that the process of scientific research is not always easy, be thankful for that!

Source: TED-Ed


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