Gastro Health

H. Pylori Infection - Diagnosis and Prevention

Written by
Dr. Vasantha K S
and medically reviewed by Dr. Gokul Kruba Shanker R

07 Sep 2018  -  1 min read

Abstract

Abstract

H. pylori infection is caused by Helicobacter pylori bacteria. It resides in the stomach tissues, causing ulcers, gastritis, and abdominal discomfort. This article discusses how this infection can be prevented from spreading.

H. Pylori Infection - Diagnosis and Prevention

Helicobacter pylori is a bacteria that is commonly present in stomach lining causing ulcers. This infection is contagious and it spreads from one person to another due to poor maintenance of personal hygiene. It spreads through saliva and fecal contamination of food and water.

Causes

The stomach environment is extremely acidic. The bacteria being spiral-shaped easily drill into the linings of the digestive tract and harbor there, which makes the cells more prone to the acid content. Together, the stomach acid and bacteria irritate the stomach tissues further.

Symptoms

Many people do not have symptoms with H. pylori. If they do, symptoms include:

  • Burping.
  • Bloating.
  • Nausea.
  • Heartburn.
  • Abdominal discomfort.

In severe cases, there is:

  • Lack of appetite.
  • Tarry stools.
  • Anemia.
  • Hypotension.
  • Ulcers.
  • Halitosis.
  • Weight loss.

Diagnosis

H. pylori infection of the stomach is detected by a combination of tests:

  • Physical exam of the abdomen for signs of bloating and pain.
  • Blood test to detect H. pylori antibodies.
  • Stool test to investigate the presence of H. pylori in the feces.
  • Urea breath test is done with breath sample collected after ingesting urea capsule.
  • Endoscopy to look for ulcers and biopsy to detect H. pylori bacteria.

Treatment

A combination of antibodies and antacids are used.

1. Antibiotics

  • Amoxicillin.
  • Clarithromycin.
  • Metronidazole.
  • Tetracycline.

2. Antacids

  • Lansoprazole.
  • Esomeprazole.
  • Omeprazole.
  • Pantoprazole.
  • Rabeprazole.
  • Ranitidine.
  • Famotidine.

Prevention

  1. Wash your hands before you eat and after using the toilet.
  2. Since children are very susceptible, educate them to maintain good hygiene.
  3. Eat only well-cooked food.
  4. Do not eat in unhygienic conditions.
  5. Drink only clean, safe water.

For more information consult a medical gastroenterologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/medical-gastroenterologist

Last reviewed at:
07 Sep 2018  -  1 min read

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Related Questions & Answers


I have taken medicines for H.pylori infection, but the symptoms did not get better. Please help.
Query: Hi doctor, I was diagnosed to have the H.pylori infection a year ago. I have taken several doses of antibiotics, but the symptoms did not get better. What could be the problem?  Read Full >>
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Answer: Hi, Welcome to icliniq.com. The mere presence of Helicobacter pylori may not always be pathological. It can be endemic in certain areas. The treatment is required only if you are having gastritis or acid related disorders. Avoid taking long courses of antibiotics, as it is not needed for H.pylori. M...  Read Full

 
Can an ulcer cause severe stomach pains?
Query: Hello doctor, I was diagnosed with an ulcer a couple of years ago. I watch what I eat so not to aggravate it, but I woke up early this morning having horrible stomach pains all over the midsection. What could be going on?  Read Full >>
Dr. Saravan Pramod Settipalli
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Answer: Hello, Welcome to icliniq.com. Your stomach pain is mainly due to the stomach ulcer. Based on the location of the ulcer in the gastrointestinal tract, it can be classified into two types: One which causes severe pain after having food, which is typical of gastric ulcer. The second is a duoden...  Read Full

 
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Query: Hello doctor, I was diagnosed with antral gastritis, lots of acid in stomach and reflux. Problems started after I took some medicines. Since then I am always hungry. I eat more than before the problem started, but still I feel hungry. I am also suffering from excessive hair loss. Why am I always hu...  Read Full >>
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Answer: Hi, Welcome to icliniq.com. For antral gastritis take tablet Pantoprazole 40 mg once daily before food for a month. It will control acidity and reflux. Excessive hunger is good for you as your weight is normal and it is also good for stomach. Just rule out diabetes by doing fasting blo...  Read Full

 
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