How has the treatment of ulcers progessed and improved?

Thirty-five years ago, treating an ulcer meant painful surgery that brought with it the risk of life-threatening infection and more ulcers in the future. Along with surgery, doctors often recommended weeks of bed rest, a mild fatty diet including boiled milk, and increased tobacco use, in an effort to stop the suspected culprits: a stressful lifestyle and spicy food. But none of these remedies made much difference to ulcer sufferers.

In the late 1970s, new medicines were developed to heal the lining in the stomach, making it possible for the first time to treat ulcers effectively without surgery. With the discovery that the bacterium H. pylori causes the vast majority of ulcers in 1982, doctors are now able to treat ulcers both quickly and permanently by targeting the real root of the problem - bacteria.

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