The Ulcer Story: The Authoritative Guide to Ulcers, Dyspepsia, and Heartburn

The Ulcer Story: The Authoritative Guide to Ulcers, Dyspepsia, and Heartburn

The Ulcer Story: The Authoritative Guide to Ulcers, Dyspepsia, and Heartburn

The Ulcer Story: The Authoritative Guide to Ulcers, Dyspepsia, and Heartburn

Synopsis

If any disease can be said to epitomize and era, peptic ulcer does so for our time. Virtually unknown before 1900, cases of ulcers have reached epidemic proportions in the twentieth century. Up until the 1970s this painful disease was difficult to treat, often requiring surgery and leading to disability and even death. Since then, a bewildering succession of drug treatments has appeared and care is now possible. The Ulcer Story is the first and only book to make sense of the flood of new information for the general reader, and there is much here that will interest and challenge doctors as well. While revealing the plots and subplots of the history of peptic ulcers, Dr. Thompson shows us the paths we can take to regain a healthy and pain-free existence. Throughout, he brings to bear his impressive credentials and years of clinical experience to equip us with the means to assess our own conditions and treatments. Drawing upon cutting-edge research and the successful strategies of talented clinicians, he answers our most urgent questions: How do doctors diagnose ulcers and distinguish them from other gut ailments? What drugs are safe and effective and how do they work? What lifestyle changes, if any, can we make to control or even eliminate symptoms of dyspepsia and heatburn? Will the future bring a complete cure for the many types of ulcers?Most of the many heroes of this story are the working physicians who fight this once debilitating disease, and who have translated medical innovation into life-saving treatment. Dedicated to them, and to the legions of ulcer and heatburn sufferers for whom there is now hope, The Ulcer Story is an inspiration.

Excerpt

Peptic ulcer is an important twentieth-century disease. Apparently uncommon before 1900, it has caused much disability and even death. Until the 1970s, treatment was very unsatisfactory, and many sufferers required surgery that could be debilitating. Then, in rapid succession, came drugs that first controlled, and then cured, the disease. the 1980s' discovery that most peptic ulcers depend upon an infection revolutionized its management, and now the disease should no longer be debilitating. Just as we learn to control the condition it seems to have become less common. in the West, at least, duodenal ulcer could become rare in the next century.

This book chronicles The Ulcer Story for the general reader. While not intended for gastrointestinal specialists, there is much that will interest and challenge physicians. the history of ulcers is a compelling tale and a great medical triumph.

The book is divided into seven parts. the first begins with a review of upper gut anatomy, the stage where the story is enacted. Chapters on physiology and terminology are designed to assist those with a nonmedical background. Throughout, I have tried to employ plain English, but some medical jargon is inevitable. Technical terms and short-forms are redefined at the beginnings of relevant chapters. Next is a brief history of peptic ulcer and gastroesophageal reflux that should interest everyone. Part One ends with a discussion of the epidemiology of ulcers, dyspepsia, and heartburn.

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