Helicobacter pylori infection

by Abdi Mohamed

Helicobacter pylori (commonly just called H. pylori) is a germ (bacterium).

  • It can infect the lining of the stomach and duodenum (the first part of the intestine), typically during childhood,
  • H pylori is present in 75% of the worlds population, that means 3 out of every 4 people.
  • H. pylori infections are thought to spread from one person’s mouth to another. 
  • They may also be transferred from faeces to the mouth, if hands are not washed thoroughly after using the toilet
  • Commonly there are no problems
  • H. pylori is the most common cause of duodenal and stomach ulcers
  • The risk of developing stomach cancer is thought to be increased with long term h pylori infection. 

  

Symptoms

 

Gnawing or burning abdominal pain, indigestion, weight loss, loss of appetite, feeling bloated, frequent belching, feeling sick or vomiting. Taking antacid drugs may relieve the pain.

 

Diagnosis

 

H pylori infection is often detected using

  • Breath test
  • Stool test
  • Blood test
  • From a biopsy sample taken during a gastroscopy (endoscopy).

 

Treatment

 

If you have the infection that is not causing you any problems and you are not at increased risk of stomach cancer, it is believed that eradication therapy may not offer any benefits. The treatment involves taking a drug that reduces stomach acidity, PPI, as well as a combination of two different antibiotics .

 

Resources on the web

 

Mayo Clinic: H. pylori infection occurs when a type of bacteria called Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infects your stomach. This usually happens during childhood. A common cause of peptic ulcers, H. pylori infection may be present in more than half the people in the world....., Click here to read more

Health.info: Infection with Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is the cause of most stomach and duodenal ulcers. H. pylori also causes some cases of non-ulcer dyspepsia. Infection with H. pylori can be confirmed by a test done on a sample of stools (faeces), by a breath test, by a blood test, or from a biopsy sample taken during a gastroscopy........ Click here to read more.

Core: Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) are bacteria, a type of germ, which lives in the sticky mucus that lines the stomach. About 40% of people in the UK have H. pylori in their stomach so it is very common and in approximately nine out of ten people who have H. pylori, it does not cause any problems......., Click here to read more