Helicobacter Pylori (H. Pylori)

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What is H. pylori?

Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a specific type of bacteria, found in the stomach, that mainly affects your digestive system. Most people never get sick from the bacteria. If you develop symptoms of ulcers, you will probably get tested for H. pylori infection. If left untreated, H. pylori infection can cause stomach ulcers by attacking the inner lining of the stomach which protects you from stomach acid. This can cause unwanted pain and discomfort as well as eventually lead to stomach cancer if left untreated. If you are experiencing troubling gastrointestinal symptoms such as stomach pain, you could have an H. pylori infection and should be evaluated by a skilled GI professional. You can consult with an expert GI doctor near you at your local GI Alliance.

What are the symptoms of H. pylori infection?

H. pylori typically enters our body from food, unclean water, or dirty utensils. It is more common to find H. pylori in countries or locations that have poor water quality and sewage systems. However, we are all potentially at risk. You can also become infected if you come in contact with an infected person’s saliva or other bodily fluids. If H. pylori has entered your system you can experience the following symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Frequent burping
  • Loss of appetite
  • Stomach pain
  • Burning pain in your abdominal area
  • Abdominal pain that is worse on an empty stomach
  • Bloating
  • Unintentional weight loss

Make an appointment with your gastroenterologist if you have any of the above symptoms that worry you, or if you have severe abdominal pain, bloody stools/vomit, or black stools/vomit.

How is H. pylori treated?

The most common treatments for someone that has H. pylori in their system are meant to kill the bacteria while relieving symptoms. Treatments for H. pylori include a regimen of at least two antibiotics to avoid the bacteria becoming resistant to the treatment. Treatment of the symptoms include antacids and other methods to relieve acid reflux and allow the stomach lining to heal.

Healing treatment for H. pylori

Should you experience any of the troubling symptoms listed above, you should contact a local gastroenterologist as soon as possible to be evaluated for gastrointestinal issues such as an H. pylori infection. To find an expert GI doctor in your area, you can trust the nation's largest physician-led network of GI specialists and find a GI Alliance location near you. Our expert physicians come alongside their patients to provide compassionate, comprehensive care that helps you return to living in optimal health. Contact GI Alliance to learn more about H. pylori and how it can be treated.

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