H. Pylori Infection 101

H. Pylori infections are quite common across the globe. It is more frequent and acquired earlier in countries that are poverty-stricken and less developed. This is a type of bacteria that causes an infection in the stomach. It is usually attributed to peptic ulcers, and can also lead to both gastritis and stomach cancer. Approximately 30-40% of people in the United States acquire this infection. Many experience this in their childhood. Normally, H. Pylori does not cause symptoms, but it can break down the inner protective lining in the stomach of some patients causing inflammation. Research is still ongoing on how the bacteria spreads.

Their is belief that it can spread. by unclean food and/or water. Another manner in which it can spread to a person is via contact with an infected person's saliva or other bodily fluids. If you happen to have symptoms of a peptic ulcer, contact your healthcare provider to check if H.Pylori is present. There are blood, breath, and stool tests available to detect the presence of H. Pylori. In certain cases, you may need an Upper (EGD) Endoscopy, accompanied by a biopsy to get the most accurate results. If you have a peptic ulcer, the treatment is usually a combination of antibiotics and acid-lowering medications. Once treatment is completed,  a follow-up appointment is made to get tested once more to ensure that the infection is gone.