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H. Pylori

H pylori infection

Helicobacter pylori, or H. pylori, is a bacterium in our stomach. It is the most common chronic bacterial infection in the world. Many people do not have symptoms or notice the infection. The bacteria can become present in your system after direct contact with bodily fluids such as saliva, vomit, feces, or contaminated food or water.

What is H. Pylori?

H. pylori is a type of bacteria that can damage your stomach and small intestine. This can lead to peptic ulcers, or sores, in your digestive system. It is one main cause of ulcers. This infection is also a risk factor for the development of stomach cancer.

Signs and symptoms of H. Pylori

You may not experience any symptoms if you have H. pylori. Those who do have symptoms may experience:

  • Upper abdominal pain

  • Bloating

  • Weight loss

  • Loss of appetite

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Dark or black stools

  • Feeling of fullness after eating a small amount of food

Diagnosis

If you experience the above symptoms, it’s important to rule out other concerns since there are many reasons why one could experience gastrointestinal distress. H. pylori can be diagnosed by a blood test, stool culture, breath test, or an upper endoscopy with a tissue sample from the stomach.

Risk factors

A few risk factors may increase your likelihood of getting H. pylori. Oftentimes, people will get the bacteria as a child and go for years without having any symptoms. Some of the risk factors are:

  • Person-to-person contact with saliva or bodily fluids

  • Being in a crowded area with many people

  • Being exposed to unsanitary water

  • Being exposed to someone else diagnosed with H. pylori

Treatment options

Pylori is relatively easy to treat with a course of several antibiotics, along with other medication to help heal the lining of the stomach and small intestine. These can include:

Proton pump inhibitors:

These medications block the secretion of acid in the stomach. Examples include omeprazole (Prilosec), esomeprazole (Nexium), pantoprazole (Protonix), lansoprazole (Prevacid), dexlansoprazole (Dexilant), and rabeprazole (Aciphex).

Bismuth subsalicylate:

This coats the stomach to assist with pain or discomfort. An example of this would be Pepto-Bismol.

Histamine blockers:

Histamine can help prevent acid production. This treatment is typically used when other medications cannot be used or may not be effective. An example is famotidine (Pepcid) .

If you are experiencing symptoms suggestive of H. pylori, schedule an appointment with your physician, who can perform the recommended testing, and treat if indicated.

 

Disclaimer:
The information on this website is provided for educational and information purposes only and is not medical advice. Always consult with a licensed medical provider and follow their recommendations regardless of what you read on this website. If you think you are having a medical emergency, dial 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. Links to other third-party websites are provided for your convenience only. If you decide to access any of the third-party websites, you do so entirely at your own risk and subject to the terms of use for those websites. Neither GI Urgent Care of Florida LLC, nor any contributor to this website, makes any representation, express or implied, regarding the information provided on this website or any information you may access on a third-party we

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