Helicobacter Pylori infection of the stomach
Helicobacter Pylori (H. Pylori) is a bacteria which can infect your stomach from a young age. It is common and is estimated to affect over 60% of the population. Although the majority of people have no problems, some people with the infection may develop symptoms later in life.
The following symptoms may occur in some people with the H Pylori infection;
- Stomach discomfort or burning pain (which is usually worse with an empty stomach)
- Nausea or vomiting
- Bloated feeling or burping
- Unintentional weight loss
- Loss of appetite
People often get H. pylori infection during childhood especially when exposed to the following risk factors;
- Crowded conditions
- Lack of access to clean water
- Exposure to people infected with H Pylori
If you have persistent symptoms or have recurrent symptoms (described above) despite having treatment for mild gastric symptoms, you should undergo the following tests to look for the presence of H Pylori infection;
- Urea breath test
- Stool test
- Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy and your doctor may take a sample for analysis
If you have gastric symptoms caused by H. Pylori, your doctor will prescribe medications to kill the bacteria to allow your stomach to heal. The treatment is usually for 14 days and you must follow the instructions to ensure good healing. Your doctor may choose from a combination of the following;
- Antibiotics such as Amoxicillin, Clarithromycin, Metronidazole, Tetracycline or Tinidazole
- Medications which reduce the amount of acid in your stomach such as Dexlansoprazole (Dexilant), Esomeprazole (Nexium), Lansoprazole (Prevacid), Omeprazole (Prilosec) and Pantoprazole (Protonix)
- Medications which reduce acid production such as Cimetidine (Tagamet), Famotidine (Pepcid) and Nizatidine (Axid)
- Avoid contaminated food or food which has not been cooked thoroughly
- Avoid sharing utensils with other people during the meal
- Wash your hands before every meal
H. pylori infection can cause the following complications if left intreated;
Disclaimer. TELEME blog posts contains general information about health conditions and treatments. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such.
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