Hi. I am 34 year old female and I have a father with drinking problems.
He’s been drinking all his life. He was never violent to us but we are afraid for him, because he could develop gastritis or maybe even some serous ulcer.
And all this time I have tried to convince him about possible complications he could develop with his drinking.
But, recently I heard on TV that ulcer and gastritis are not caused by alcohol or stress but with some bacteria called helicobactor?
Is it possible that I was wrong all this years and that really alcohol plays no part in developing these serious conditions?
I can say that you are right looking from one perspective. I’ll try to explain this.
You know that there is very strong acid in your stomach and that this acid kills everything that comes into stomach. Well, almost everything, to be more correct!
"Helicobactor" is a genus of spiral bacteria that amazingly are able to survive the severe acidity of the stomach.
Since recently stomach ulcers were treated with an assortment of antacids with the idea that excess acid had caused the ulcer.
It can't harm your stomach wall usually because the wall is defended by normal human immune system, but, long thought precipitated by stress and stomach acidity, ulcers are increasingly believed related more to the presence of Helicobactor infection.
SO, you are right, alcohol can cause ulcer indirectly because it can cause weakness of immune system and create good conditions for helicobactor infection.
Instead of prescribing milk to reduce stomach acidity, now antibiotics play major role because they are used in the successful treatment of peptic ulcers.