The main function of stomach is to store and digest the food that we eat. The stomach secretes certain acids, which can easily digest the food to send it to the small intestine. Most of the stomach diseases are caused due to infections.
Heartburn: It is a form of pain in central chest region, which resembles a heart attack, but it is caused by the acid reaction in stomach, after taking certain food and some amount of stomach acid is pushed to the esophagus, which causes the pain. If the patient is not suffering from GERD, it may be a temporary condition called acid reflux, which causes heartburn.
Indigestion: Indigestion may result in acid reflux, gastritis and heartburn. The stomach acids sends back a small portion of the foods in esophagus and indigestion can also be caused by anxiety or stress.
Gastrititis: It was considered that keeping acidic environment in stomach, made it immune against infections, but later it was found that the some of the stomach diseases are caused by infection of Helicobacter pylori, which releases the enzymes urease, that converts urea to ammonia and CO2, which neutralizes the effect of acids in stomach, and it has been linked to gastritis.
Hypochlorhydria: It is also known as achlorhydria, and it is the condition in which, the patient is incapable of forming gastric acids in stomach that is, needed for digestion of food. It is also considered that the condition can cause ulcers and stomach cancer. The symptoms of hypochlorhydria are similar to gastroesophageal reflux. The patient could not digest protein because of the lack of enzyme pepsin in stomach, which is caused due to low pH levels in stomach. Stomach can get infected and the person also suffers from deficiencies of vitamins, magnesium and zinc.
Stomach ulcers/peptic ulcer: The ulcer of stomach - peptic ulcer, can be caused if the person has infected stomach lining and it can be caused by improper eating habits and stress.
Stomach cancer – It is a kind of gastric cancer, which can be caused by the infection of hellocobacter pylori.
Some other reasons for stomach cancer are
1. Diet: Eating smoked food, salted meat and fish, food rich in starch and low in fibre or spicy vegetables.
2. Alcohol: The disease is also caused if the patient drinks beverages containing nitrates.
3. Age and gender: Stomach cancer is common in men than in women and it is mostly found in men above sixty years.
4. Blood group specific: The disease is mostly found in people having blood group A.
5. Deficiency of iron, minerals and vitamins may cause the problem.
6. Family history having colon cancer or adenomatous polyposis indicates a possibility of developing this disease.
Symptoms of stomach cancer: Some of the common symptoms are heartburn, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea, loss of appetite, constipation, weakness and blood in vomit or stool.
The condition is diagnosed through blood tests and barium tests. Esophagogastroduodenoscopy also known as EGD can also be conducted to examine the stomach. Ultrasound can also reveal about the stomach problem.