I heard an accounting recently on NPR's SCIENCE FRIDAY that I thought really interesting. Researchers are finding that...country-wide...(maybe world?) the balance of flora and fauna in our guts are changing. Apparently stomach ulcers used to be much more common. Then they discovered that the ulcers flourished when one had a high content of h. pylori germ which suppresses acid production(wait, I thought acid made ulcers!?). OK, now I've just confused myself and I would delete this post but I'm hoping someone can help me to interpret the following information. Let me first state my overall point is that over the (recent) years it does appear that as a population, our gut environment has dramatically changed. H. pylori is largely disappearing and people who may have had ulcers in previous times, now are prone to GERD (reflux disease) instead. Here is part of an article I found. Maybe someone can unconfuse me on the acid/ulcer connection. "an interesting relationship was found between H. pylori and GERD. In many early studies looking into ulcer disease and H. pylori, investigators noted that ulcer patients often complained that their GERD symptoms grew worse after successful treatment of their H. pylori infection. Initially, researchers were puzzled as to why this would occur. Additional studies then showed that in patients with H. pylori, acid-suppressing medications are extremely effective. This is true because H. pylori bacteria interfere with the ability of the stomach to produce the normal amount of acid. These studies showed that after the H. pylori was eradicated, the acid-suppressive medications were not as effective. Thus, the cure of the H. pylori infection led to a recovery of the stomach's ability to make acid. Since GERD is a disease in which stomach acid irritates the esophagus, it is not surprising that these patients had a worsening of their GERD after H. pylori was eradicated." Are they saying that H. pylori does not necessarily CAUSE ulcers, but is present because it is FIGHTING ulcers? That's what it sounds like, yet they are saying that the antibiotic treatment really works for ulcers. I'm clearly misreading something and maybe someone with a clearer thought process can interpret this for me. Sorry for the confusing post...started to make a statement which ended up in a question!! Main point is still that it appears that we are seeing an overall-all change in gut germs and GERD problems are rising. I think this also relates to prevalence of IBS also.