Dr. Ben Wedro practices emergency medicine at Gundersen Clinic, a regional trauma center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. His background includes undergraduate and medical studies at the University of Alberta, a Family Practice internship at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
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
80% 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 bacteria has evolved to survive in the acidic environment of the stomach
where enzymes digest food.
The H. pylori bacteria burrow into the cells of the stomach lining and
cause low grade inflammation. H. pylori is the most common cause of
gastric ulcers and
+itis=inflammation). Ten percent of those infected may develop an ulcer. Also,
those infected have an increased risk of
Interestingly, the presence of the bacteria 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. Further, H. pylori seems to decrease the risk of
developing asthma and
H. pylori bacteria is 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.