Gastro Health

H. Pylori Infection - Diagnosis and Prevention

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

Published on May 31, 2018 and last reviewed on Sep 07, 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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