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H. pylori Infection
(Helicobacter Pylori)

Facts and definition of Helicobacter Pylori (H. pylori)

  • H. pylori is type of bacteria that infects about 50% of the population.
  • H. pylori infection is associated with inflammation of the stomach lining (gastritis), and duodenum (part of the small intestine).
  • H. pylori bacteria burrow into the cells of the stomach lining and cause gastritis.
  • H. pylori is the most common cause of gastric ulcers and gastritis.
  • Ten percent of those infected with H. pylori may develop an ulcer. Also, those infected have an increased risk of stomach cancer and lymphoma.
  • Symptoms of H. pylori infection include
  • The presence of the H pylori bacteria in the stomach may decrease the prevalence of esophagitis by decreasing the amount of stomach acid that refluxes back into the esophagus. This in turn leads to a decreased risk for esophageal cancer in those infected with H. pylori.
  • H. pylori bacteria are found most frequently in underdeveloped countries; but with improved economic conditions, the rate of infection in the population decreases. The infection rate in the United States is between 20%-30%, however, it is higher in Hispanics, African Americans, and the elderly.
  • H. pylori is diagnosed by blood, breath, or stool tests.
  • Natural treatment and cures for H. pylori infection have not been scientifically proven to cure the infection
  • The American College of Gastroenterology has developed guidelines for the treatment of H. pylori infection.
  • Treatment for H. pylori involves antibiotics to eradicate the infection as well as medications to decrease the amount of stomach acid.
  • Triple therapy of either Levaquin (levofloxacin) or rifabutin in combination with amoxicillin and esomeprazole has resulted in high cure rates.
  • There is no special diet that can eradicate or cure H. pylori infection.
  • H. pylori infection is contagious and seems to be spread from person to person by saliva.
  • Personal hygiene an important preventive measure to decrease the risk of decreasing human-to human-transmission of H. pylori.
  • The prognosis for H. pylori is good in most cases. Many infections are mild and produce few, if any, symptoms. Those with severe infection and ulcers have a more guarded prognosis since ulceration can lead to bleeding and other damage.

What is H. pylori infection?

Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a type of bacteria responsible for widespread infection with more than 50% of the world's population infected, even though most of those infected have no symptoms. H. pylori infection is associated with low grade inflammation of the stomach and duodenum (the first part of the small intestine that empties the stomach).

The bacteria has evolved to survive in the acidic environment of the stomach where enzymes digest food.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/12/2016

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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about H. pylori Infection (Helicobacter Pylori):

Helicobacter Pylori - Tests and Diagnosis

How was the diagnosis of your helicobacter pylori established?

Helicobacter Pylori - Treatment

What was the treatment for you Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori)?

Helicobacter Pylori - Symptoms

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Are Ulcers and H. pylori Bacterial Infection Related?

H. pylori is the most common cause of gastric ulcers and gastritis, and 10% percent of those infected with H. pylori may develop an ulcer. Also, those infected have an increased risk of stomach cancer and lymphoma. Symptoms of gastric ulcers include:

  • Pain (usually in the upper abdomen)
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite

Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Helicobacter Pylori Infection »

In 1983, Warren (a biologist) and Marshall (a clinician) described Helicobacter pylori (HP).

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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