Helicobacter Pylori Infection
(H. pylori) is a type of bacteria that can infect the stomach and intestines. It can lead to:
Treatment for H. pylori is done with antibiotics and other medication that relieves symptoms.
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This condition occurs when an infected person passes the bacteria to someone else. The bacteria are spread through:
- Fecal-oral contact
- Oral-oral contact
Factors that increase your risk of h. pylori infection include being in:
- Close contact with an infected person
- A crowded and unsanitary living environment
In most cases, there are not any symptoms. However, if someone develops an ulcer or gastritis, symptoms may include:
Abdominal pain that may:
- Awaken you from sleep
- Change when you eat
- Last for a few minutes or several hours
- Feel like unusually strong hunger pangs
- Nausea or vomiting
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Black, tarry, or bloody stools
- Vomiting blood
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
Tests may include:
- Blood tests
- Stool test
Endoscopy—a thin, lighted tube inserted down your throat to look inside your stomach and to take tissue samples for testing
- Urea breath test—a test that can help detect if there is a current infection
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Your doctor may recommend:
- Antibiotics to treat the bacterial infection
- H-2 blockers
- Proton pump inhibitors
To reduce your chances of getting h. pylori infection, take these steps:
Wash your hands after using the bathroom and before eating or preparing food.
- Drink water from a safe source.
smoke. Smoking increases the chance of getting an ulcer.
The American College of Gastroenterology
American Gastroenterological Association
Ontario Association of Gastroenterology
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