H. pylori Infection- Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment
H. pylori infection is caused by a bacteria called Helicobacter pylori. This is responsible for most stomach (gastric) and duodenal ulcers and many cases of stomach inflammation (chronic gastritis). A feeling of gassiness accompanied by nausea, bloating, and unexplained weight loss may indicate H. pylori infection. This bacteria affects around 44.3 per cent of the world’s population. The most common natural treatment for Helicobacter pylori infection is to use ingredients with medical value to reduce the infection. You will learn about Helicobacter pylori infection and how to treat it with simple home remedies in this post. Continue reading to learn more.
Table of Contents
- What is H. pylori infection
- Signs and Symptoms of H. pylori infection
- Diagnosis of H. pylori
- Management and Treatment
- Prevention Control
- Dietary Advice
What is H. pylori infection?
Helicobacter pylori, often known as H. pylori, is a bacteria that can enter your body and thrive in your stomach and digestive tract. They can appear as ulcers in the lining of your stomach or the upper part of your small intestine after a number of years. Some people may get stomach cancer as a result of this infection.
Infections with H. pylori are extremely prevalent. Two-thirds of the world’s population is infected with these bacteria. They do not, however, create symptoms in the majority of persons. In the following section, we’ll go through some of the possible symptoms.
Can H. pylori Spread from person to person?
The most common way for H. pylori to spread from one person to another is by direct contact with saliva, vomit, or stool. It’s also possible for contaminated food or water to spread H. pylori.
What you need to understand is that H. pylori is a bacteria and it spread just like other bacteria do. The following factors can increase your chances of getting an H. pylori infection:
- Living in a developing country or visiting one
- Sharing utensils with an affected person
- No or less access to clean water
- Practices of poor hygiene
- Mouth-to-mouth contact
- Sexual activity with a person who is affected
H. pylori infections can be passed from one person to another in a variety of ways. There are a variety of antibiotics and other drugs that can be used to kill bacteria while also decreasing ulcers.
What’s the Association Between H. pylori Infection and Stomach Cancer?
Infection with H. pylori causes chronic inflammation and significantly increases the risk of developing duodenal and gastric ulcer disease and gastric cancer. Infection with H. pylori is the most substantial known risk factor for gastric cancer, which is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide.
Being tested positive for H. pylori infection increases your risk of stomach cancer in life. In addition to screening and treatment, lifestyle changes, such as including more fruits, vegetables and fibre in your diet, with regular check-ups will reduce your cancer risk.
Signs and Symptoms
What are the symptoms of H. pylori infection?
Stomach ulcers are one of the most common signs of an H. pylori infection. The other signs and symptoms are mostly related to ulcers. They may include the following:
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
How does H. pylori infection cause damage?
H. pylori bacteria have coexisted with humans for many years. The infection was found to pass from person to person through direct contact with saliva, vomit or faecal matter. H. pylori may also be spread through contaminated food or water.
Once ingested, H. pylori can permeate the mucus lining of the stomach and produce compounds that neutralize stomach acids. As a result, the stomach cells become more sensitive to the acidic environment. Ulcers in the stomach and duodenum are caused by the irritation of the stomach lining caused by H. pylori and stomach acids.
Complications associated with H. pylori infection include:
- Ulcers. H. pylori can damage the protective lining of the stomach and small intestine. This can allow stomach acid to create an open sore (ulcer). About 10% of people with H. pylori will develop an ulcer.
- Inflammation of the stomach lining. H. pylori infection can affect the stomach, causing irritation and swelling (gastritis).
- Stomach cancer. H. pylori infection is a strong risk factor for certain types of stomach cancer.
DIAGNOSIS AND TEST
How is H. pylori infection Diagnosed?
Once you show one or more symptoms of a stomach ulcer, your healthcare provider will recommend one or more of the following tests;
- A Blood Test: This test is used to measure the antibodies of H. pylori.
- A Stool Test: This test looks for evidence of H. pylori in a stool sample.
- A Breath Test: In this test, you exhale into a ballon-like bag before and after drinking a solution (urea). The test measures the amount of carbon dioxide released in your breath before and after drinking the solution. A higher level after drinking the solution means H. pylori are present.
- Upper Endoscopy: A flexible tube is inserted down the throat into the stomach. A small tissue sample from the stomach or intestine lining called Biopsy is taken for testing for the presence of H. pylori. Otherwise called Biopsy Test. Usually, a biopsy is done if endoscopy is needed for other reasons. Reasons include diagnosing the ulcer, treating bleeding, or making sure there is no cancer.
MANAGEMENT AND TREATMENT
How are H. pylori Treated?
If there are no symptoms, treatment won’t be necessary. If your diagnosis shows positive, avoid taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. These drugs worsen your symptoms and increase your risk of developing an ulcer.
H. pylori-caused ulcer is better treated with antibiotics and acid-reducing proton pump inhibitors. Along these two an anti-acid is usually prescribed to protect the stomach lining.
How To Prevent H. pylori infection?
- Hands should be washed after using the restroom and before eating.
- Before you start cooking, make sure you wash your hands.
- Contaminated food and water should be avoided.
- Avoid eating items that haven’t been properly cooked.
- Stop smoking.
- Stop consuming alcoholic beverages.
- Maintain good hygiene habits.
- Avoid being in close proximity to those who are affected.
- Avoid sharing utensils with an affected person.
Diet Tips For H. pylori infection
If you practice good hygiene, you can easily prevent H. pylori infections. Because this sickness can spread quickly, you should be cautious if you’re in a developing nation or if you’re in direct contact with someone who has been infected.
Some people may be unaware of H. pylori because the symptoms are not always obvious. The infection isn’t a problem in these circumstances. However, if you have been diagnosed with H. pylori infection, it is advisable to seek medical help to avoid complications.
Antioxidant-rich foods can help you fight H. pylori infections by boosting your immune system.
Vitamin C-rich foods including berries, bell peppers, spinach, and kale are among them.
Citrus fruits, both alone and in combination with other medications, have bactericidal effects against H. pylori.
Sulforaphane, a chemical found in broccoli sprouts, is believed to have anti-bacterial properties.
Olive oil’s fatty acids may also aid in the treatment of an H. pylori infection.
What You Should Avoid Eating?
Certain meals can worsen your infection’s symptoms. So, if you have an H. pylori infection avoid these;
- Spicy foods
- Carbonated drinks
- Fried/fatty foods
- and acidic foods
are all things that can aggravate your illness and should be avoided. Acid reflux, which is a frequent symptom of an H. pylori infection, may get worse if these foods are consumed.
Treatment options include lifestyle changes and medication. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle by eating a healthy diet, reducing stress, practising good hygiene and staying active (exercise). Get your natural remedies for H. pylori infection, meal plans and health tips here.