The stomach is a hollow resilient bag in the shape of a “J”, which has a smooth outer surface, an inner surface that has folds which promote the mixing of food with the different digestive juices, which is the wider part of the digestive tube. It is a muscular organ, and thanks to its contractions the mechanical digestive action is completed. It has a strong anatomical relationship with the liver, pancreas, transverse colon and bile duct. One of the main functions of the stomach is to aid in the digestion process, actively participating to break down the food and mix it with different enzymes and acids, finally releasing the resulting chyme into the small intestine.
The known stomach diseases are: gastritis (irritation of the gastric mucosa that usually causes inflammation); peptic ulcer (a wound caused by the destruction of the gastric mucosa passing the muscularis mucosa); gastric cancer, Menetrier’s disease, and stomach infections.
Most cases of stomach ulcers, gastritis, lymphoma and even gastric cancer are caused by “Helicobacter Pylori” infection. One reason why this bacterium is able to survive in the stomach is the production of a particular enzyme called urease which metabolizes ammonia and carbon dioxide to neutralize the hydrochloric acid produced by the stomach.