Researchers may just have come up with an explanation for all the stomach aches that no amount of medication or antacids seem to help. This happens at one time or the other to about 25% of the population in the United States and Western Europe.
The results of a study that was conducted by researchers in the U.S., Sweden, England, and Australia may be the key to treating the condition and eliminate the pain and discomfort. The researchers have found that an abnormal amount of inflammatory cells live in the upper intestine of those individuals who are prone to this aliment. This discovery could lead to a new understanding of the condition.
The researchers do not know why there are only in one particular region called the duodenum. This is the part of the intestine that connects to the stomach. The thought is that it could be the result of an allergic reaction to certain foods. The patients that they examined did not have any disease that could cause these symptoms such as infections, celiac disease (an autoimmune reaction to gluten protein), or cancer.
Researchers in Sweden offered endoscopic examinations to 51 Swedish participants who complained of “non-ulcer dyspepsia .” This is chronic pain or nausea not caused by an ulcer. They also chose 49 who did not have any symptoms. Patients with this condition can have a sensitivity to stomach acid but acid suppression therapy does not work in about two-thirds of the patients. During the procedure physicians removed biopsy tissue from several places and had the samples examined by pathologists who did not know who the samples came from. They found much more of the eosinophil cells in people with nonulcer dyspepsia than in the control group. Eosinophils are white blood cells, which fight parasites.
If they are able to validate the results, they feel the answer may be in using targeted anti-inflammatory medicine that is aimed at blocking the function of these cells.
They believe that intolerance to certain foods can be the cause of motor and sensory abnormalities that present themselves as pain and discomfort.
It has not been proven yet that duodenal esoinophilia is the cause of the pain, but the evidence is strong enough to warrant more research and clinical trials.
The lead researcher on the project is Nicholas J. Talley, M.D., Chair of Internal Medicine at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida.
The study was funded in part by Swedish grants, the University of Sydney, and Astra Zeneca Inc.
Source: Mayo Clinic http://www.newswise.com/