What is H. Pylori?
Helicobacter pylori, normally referred to as H. Pylori, is a bacterium that causes inflammation of the stomach, chronic gastritis, and ulcers in the stomach or small intestine.
In the same way, most people with an H pylori infection never experience symptoms. So, when symptoms do occur, it is usually because the bacterium has caused an ulcer to form.
H. Pylori Symptoms
If you start noticing any of the symptoms of helicobacter pylori, please contact a gastroenterologist to seek testing and treatment.
- An ache or burning pain in your abdomen
- Frequent burping
- Weight loss
How Do You Get H. Pylori?
H Pylori infection is usually acquired in childhood. H. pylori bacteria can pass from person to person from direct contact with saliva, vomit or fecal matter. It can also spread through contaminated food and water.
People with H. pylori infections may be more likely to develop cancer in the stomach, including mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma. In the same way, the bacterium weakens the protective coating of the stomach and first part of the small intestine, allowing digestive juices to irritate the sensitive lining.
Tests to Diagnose H. pylori
- Blood test
- Breath test
- Stool test
- Upper endoscopy with biopsy
H. Pylori Treatment
H. pylori are usually treated with a combination of two antibiotics. Your doctor will also prescribe an acid suppression drug such as PPIs (proton pump inhibiters) or H2 (histamine-2) blockers to help the lining of your stomach heal. Finally, once the bacteria are completely gone from the body, the chance of its return is low.
Think you might have H. Pylori? Request an appointment today to get tested.