Wednesday, July 16, 2008


after having an endoscopy a couple of weeks ago, i got the results. apparently there is bacteria in my stomach. i got a call from the gp confirming this and telling me to come to the health centre to pick up my medicine. the girl on the phone sounded really young then mentioned "irradiation." it must be pretty bad if i have to pick up the medication at the health centre "i thought to myself", normally one picks up a prescription.

sure enough it was a prescription and a newbie on the phone who was giving out garbled messages. at the health centre they couldn't even tell what type of bacteria in my stomach was causing too much acid, and preventing me from keeping food down. bacteria in the stomach seemed like saying "blood in the veins". what do i know about biology though?

electron scanning microscope pic of helicobacter bacteria. i think they look pretty cute.

the pharmacist told me that the medication was probably for helicobacter. pharmacists train for nearly as long as gp's and usually have a more friendly manner. my sister had the same thing a few years ago, and suffered from acid reflux too. i wonder if there is a link there? my sister studied biology at university, and heard somewhere that a lot of people in the Glasgow area have helicobacter. According to wikipedia:

The most widely known species of the genus is H. pylori which
infects up to 50% of the human population.

it also says:

Acid reflux and esophageal cancer

As the incidence of gastric cancer has
the incidences of gastroesophageal
reflux disease
and esophageal cancer have
increased dramatically. In 1996, Martin J. Blaser put
forward the theory that H.pylori might also have a beneficial effect: by regulating the acidity of the stomach contents, it lowers the impact of
regurgitation of gastric acid into the esophagus.[3]
While some favorable evidence has been accumulated, as of 2005 the theory is
not universally accepted.

i have no idea what that means, if anything, but the medicine is making me feel pretty pukey as the pharmacist said it would. i'm keeping food down better so hopefully this will work.

to get rid of the helicobacter bacteria, i have to take 8 pills a day. 4 in the morning and 4 at night. they give you a horrible 'medical' taste in your mouth all day. chocolate spread helps but the taste comes back. it's only a few more days until they are all finished though, so hopefully all will be well then.