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What Is H. Pylori?
Helicobacter pylori (H. Pylori) is a specific type of bacteria, found in the stomach, that mainly affects your digestive system. Most people never get sick from the bacteria. If you develop symptoms of ulcers, you will probably get tested for H. Pylori infection.
If left untreated, they can cause stomach ulcers by attacking the lining of the stomach which protects your body from your stomach’s acid. Not only can this cause unwanted pain and discomfort but stomach ulcers can eventually lead to stomach cancer if left untreated.
Where Does H. Pylori Come From?
H. pylori typically enters our body from food, unclean water, or dirty utensils. It is more common to find H. pylori in countries or locations that have poor water quality and sewage systems. However, we are all potentially at risk. You can also become infected if you come in contact with an infected person’s saliva or other bodily fluids.
What Are The Symptoms Of H. Pylori?
If H. pylori has entered your system you can experience the following symptoms:
- Frequent burping
- Loss of appetite
- Stomach pain
- Burning pain in your abdominal area
- Abdominal pain that is worse on an empty stomach
- Unintentional weight loss
Make an appointment with your gastroenterologist if you have any of the above symptoms that worry you, or if you have severe abdominal pain, bloody stools/vomit, or black stools/vomit.
What Are The Treatments For H. Pylori?
The most common treatments for someone that has H. pylori in their system are meant to kill the bacteria while relieving symptoms. Treatments for H. pylori include a regimen of at least two antibiotics to avoid the bacteria becoming resistant to the treatment.
Treatment of the symptoms include antacids and other methods to relieve acid reflux and allow the stomach lining to heal.