What is an h pylori infection

Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) are bacteria that flourish in the digestive system and can cause infection in the stomach. H. pylori symptoms may not manifest in some people.

Causes

It is still unknown how an H. pylori infection occurs. But it can pass through an infected person to another in several ways. These include:

  • Through an infected person’s saliva
  • Through contact with infected vomit
  • Through contact with infected fecal matter

Symptoms

Not everyone with an H. pylori infection shows symptoms. But there are still some common signs that may manifest after the infection.

Some common H. pylori symptoms are:

  • Severe stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Excessive burping
  • Bad breath
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Bloating
  • Appetite loss

Complications

h.Pylori can cause several serious problems.

  • Ulcers: H. pylori can cause ulcers in the stomach as it damages the protective lining of the organ.
  • Inflammation: The infection can irritate the stomach and cause gastritis.
  • Cancer: In some cases, H. pylori infection can increase your chances of getting stomach cancer.

Treatment

Even when H. pylori symptoms do not show up, the presence of peptic ulcers is a clear indication of an infection. The treatment may include antibiotics and another medicine to heal the stomach lining.

  • The antibiotics course may include two different drugs. This is done so that the bacteria do not become resistant to any particular antibiotic. Use of two drugs can prevent any delays in the treatment.
  • The different drugs to heal the stomach may include medicines that inhibit acid production in the stomach, block substances that produce acid or protect the ulcers from the acid.
  • After the treatment, the doctor may conduct a fresh round of tests to see if it was successful or not. This is usually done four weeks after the completion of the treatment. If further treatment is required, the doctor may change the antibiotics.

If the H. pylori infection has not caused other problems, the initial treatment for the infection is usually effective. Timely treatment as soon as the H. pylori symptoms occur may be helpful.

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