H. Pylori (Helicobacter Pylori) is a bacteria estimated to be found in the human gut of about 30 to 50 percent of the world population. When H. Pylori is allowed to flourish and overgrow in the stomach, it causes stomach problems like gastritis, ulcers and other digestive ailments. Did you know that H. Pylori is contagious and can be passed on to family members? Below, I have listed 10 H Pylori infection symptoms that you don’t want to ignore and after reading this article you’ll understand how to go about getting the appropriate treatment and healing.
10 H. Pylori Infection Symptoms
- An ache or burning pain in your abdomen (usually severe)
- Abdominal pain that’s worse when your stomach is empty.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Loss of appetite.
- Frequent burping and bloating
- Fatigue – possibly from anemia
- Unintentional weight loss.
- Bad breath
- Passing Dark or Tarry Stools
If you have extreme fatigue and suffer from dark or tarry stools, you need to get checked by a doctor to rule out bleeding.
How Is H. Pylori Acquired?
H. Pylori is contagious and passed along from individual to individual via fecal contamination due to unsafe hygiene practices. The majority of individuals with H. Pylori have few to any symptoms. Those individuals who do have symptoms are reacting to the bacteria and the cytotoxins that are produced from the bacteria. This causes inflammation of the stomach lining and compromises the lining leading to pain and possible ulcer formation.
Not all strains are bad. It’s believed that over half of the population is infected with H. Pylori. Certain strains have been shown to be protective of parasites.
Once a person is infected with the bacteria, the bacteria have to burrow deep into the stomach to turn off the Proton Pumps in the stomach which make the stomach acid you need to digest your food. Otherwise, the bacteria would be destroyed by the highly acidic stomach acid and could not survive. The bacteria secrete an enzyme to neutralize the ph of the stomach.
Now the digestion process has a problem. The stomach does not have enough stomach acid to thoroughly digest food. The stomach is responsible for sterilizing the contents of food. So now food sits in the stomach and putrifies. If the stomach cannot reach its proper PH, minerals cannot be absorbed. Minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper, and selenium. Minerals have very important functions in the body and if you are not absorbing them you’ll get problems like anemia, osteoporosis, nervous system dysfunction and loss of neurotransmitter production. Mood disorders like depression and anxiety appear. Inflammation in the body becomes high resulting in arthritis, possible autoimmune issues, and cancer.
Stomach issues like SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) can take over because the ph of the stomach has been altered due to the H. pylori bacteria. Other stomach issues like heartburn and intestinal permeability (Leaky Gut) can take hold as well when the lining of the stomach is compromised.
These tests may be run to diagnose an H Pylori infection:
- Stool test. This test looks for foreign proteins that are present with H Pylori.
- Scope test. This is an upper endoscopy exam. A doctor can remove tissue if anything looks suspicious.
- Blood test. Not generally a test used solely to detect H pylori infection.
- Breath Test. You swallow a pill, liquid or a pudding that contains carbon. If you have an infection the carbon is released which is an indicator of H pylori infection.
So now you know you have it, how can you get rid of it?
How To Heal
H. pylori bacteria can settle in and not be detected for a lifetime. These sneaky bacteria hide from your immune system by secreting a lipopolysaccharide. This type of antigen hides the H. pylori and diverts the immune system to attack the parietal cells that secrete stomach acid or the proton pumps in the stomach.
Follow up tests that show negative for H. pylori is very important. It’s not advised to just treat the infection with medicine and then and assume you don’t have the infection after treatment is over.
A targeted triple therapy treatment for H. pylori infection is usually administered by your doctor. First, a positive test for H. Pylori is determined.
The triple therapy can include:
Omeprazole, amoxicillin, Clarithromycin usually for 10 days
Bismuth subsalicylate, metronidazole, tetracycline for 14 days
Lansoprazole (proton pump inhibitor), amoxicillin, clarithromycin for 10 days
This type of antibiotic therapy can have some adverse effects like nausea, skin rash, diarrhea, vomiting. Contact your doctor if you are having these symptoms.
If you’ve tried antibiotics and they are not working or you are catching the bacteria over and over:
Many people have to treat their infection with non-antibiotic therapy and they have very positive results. Always work with a qualified practitioner to help you overcome H. pylori infection.
The mucous lining of the stomach needs to be restored and those ingredients that coat and soothe the lining of the stomach is important.
- Mastic Gum has antimicrobial properties and has been shown in studies to kill H pylori infection and is an important ingredient in a supplement.
- Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice (DGL) coats and soothes the intestinal lining and can also promote healing of the lining. Taking DGL in a supplement and also taking it in between meals may be needed.
- Uva Ursi is another supplement that helps to kill off H. Pylori
- Aloe Vera soothes and heals the intestinal lining
- Slippery elm a mucilaginous herb that supports the lining of the stomach.
- Marshmallow root provide soothing, mucilaginous support
These ingredients should be a part of a natural healing protocol and I’ve attached a couple of my favorite products that are very effective.
One of my favorite programs is the SCD Lifestyle program. It’s extremely effective and for gut issues of all kinds, I highly recommend going through this program.
Stay Away From
If you are trying to heal an H. pylori infection, you should stay away from these foods until your follow up test comes back negative.
Stay away from acidic foods like:
Focus on stress management and relief. Reducing stress helps heal the stomach lining.
Linda is a Functional Medicine Health Coach