By Kate Coleman
Patrick Cassner was hospitalized with severe stomach pain when he was 20 years old. Everyone told him it was stress, but he didn't believe that was the cause, he says.
An X-ray showed a stomach ulcer. He was put on a restricted diet - a lot of liquids, no caffeine, no alcohol, no nicotine. Tagamet, a medication designed to reduce the amount of acid produced by the stomach, was prescribed. The ulcer cleared up, but he was hospitalized when it recurred five years later and again when the same place in his stomach was inflamed another time after that.
More than 30 years ago, doctors recommended bland diets for ulcer patients, but diet never worked as ulcer treatment, according to Dr. Robert J. Trace Jr., a Hagerstown gastroenterologist.