Anxiety and ulcer: a bond?

Anonim

Anxiety and ulcer: a bond?
A decades-old hypothesis is back in vogue

Stress does not cause ulcers directly; but it could help the bacterium Helicobacter to induce it.
Stress does not cause ulcers directly; but it could help the bacterium Helicobacter to induce it.

Some time ago it was thought that stress and anxiety caused an ulcer. But the discovery of a bacterium, Helicobacter pylori that causes lesions in the stomach, has sent this hypothesis into oblivion. Now, epidemiological research in the United States is reviving the link between ulcer and stress. Research has found that individuals suffering from generalized anxiety are more likely to report the presence of an ulcer. Furthermore, the researchers found that the most serious ulcers, the so-called dose-response relationship, correspond to a major anxiety. Since the study was only of epidemiology, there were no insights into the causes, but the two authors, working at the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California at San Diego, think of four scenarios. It could be the generalized anxiety that causes the ulcer, or the presence of an ulcer could lead to a state of anxiety, or an environmental factor could be the cause of the two pathologies, or finally the anxious could be more ready to report the presence of an ulcer. Although it does not refute the theory of the bacterium Helicobacter as the cause of the ulcer, the research could be used to improve it, keeping in mind also the psychosomatic factors as the origin of the lesions in the stomach.

(News updated December 7, 2002)