H. pylori Infection
Facts and definition of Helicobacter Pylori (H. pylori)
- H. pylori is type of bacteria that infects about 50% of the
- 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
- 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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