Helicobacter Pylori Infection

Helicobacter pylori (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.

  • Causes

    This condition occurs when an infected person passes the bacteria to someone else. The bacteria are spread through:

    • Fecal-oral contact
    • Oral-oral contact

  • Definition

    Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a type of bacteria that can infect the stomach and intestines. It can lead to:

    • Gastritis, a inflammation of the stomach lining
    • Ulcers

    Treatment for H. pylori is done with antibiotics and other medication that relieves symptoms.

    Gastric Ulcer
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  • Diagnosis

    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

  • Prevention

    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.
    • Do not smoke. Smoking increases the chance of getting an ulcer.

  • Risk Factors

    Factors that increase your risk of h. pylori infection include being in:

    • Close contact with an infected person
    • A crowded and unsanitary living environment

  • Symptoms

    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
    • Bloating
    • Black, tarry, or bloody stools
    • Burping
    • Vomiting blood
    • Lightheadedness

  • Treatment


    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
    • Antacids