Causes of Stomach Diseases
Causes of stomach diseases and problems greatly vary although many stomach diseases are associated with infections, especially Helicobater pylori infection. Causes of stomach diseases can be generally divided on:
- internal factors such as too high (hyperchlorhydia) or too low levels (hypochlorhydria) of gastric acid and too slow emptying of the stomach
- external factors which are in most cases responsible for stomach disease - stress, unhealthy diet, excessive consumption of coffee, alcohol and tea, smoking, certain medications especially non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and infection with Helicobacter pylori.
However, causes of stomach diseases also greatly depend from the types of diseases.
- Dyspepsia can be caused by virtually all mentioned internal and external factors but it can be also a symptom of another disease such as peptic ulcer, gastritis and stomach cancer.
- Heartburn can be a result of esophagus motility disorder, regurgitation, and esophagus irritation, while in some people heartburn is also caused by certain foods such as onion, garlic, caffeine containing drinks, tomato, vine and other alcoholic drinks, etc. which greatly depend from person to person.
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is in first place caused by abnormal gastric reflux from stomach to esophagus which is most frequently caused by deficiency of strength of lower esophageal sphincter.
- Peptic ulcer is in most of patient caused by Helicobacter pylori infection or use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Other factor which increase the risk of peptic ulcer are aging (in greater risk are men after age of 60 years), history of stomach diseases and problems, stress and use of corticosteroids and anti-platelet drugs.
- Helicobacter pylori infection is very widespread and according to some estimations over one half of world's population is infected with bacterium Helicobacter pylori but the way of transmission is unknown.
- Gastritis, inflammation of the stomach lining has many causes : Helicobacter pylori infection, autoimmune disorders, stress, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, excessive alcohol consumption and is often also associated with some medical conditions such as liver or kidney failure and connective tissue disorders.
- Stomach cancer like any other cancer type might develop for no particular cause (at least not know yet) but it is widely believed that the greatest risk factors are Helicobacter pylori infection, gastritis and salty diet.