Helicobacter Pylori

What is it?
Helicobacter Pylori (H. pylori) is bacteria that causes infection of the stomach. Generally, it occurs when a person swallows the bacteria in food, fluid or uses contaminated utensils.

What are the symptoms?
In many cases, there are no symptoms and patients can have an infection without knowing it. H. pylori is related directly to the development of diseases such as dyspepsia (heartburn, bloating and nausea), gastritis (inflammation of the stomach), and ulcers in the stomach and duodenum.

How is it diagnosed?
The infection can be diagnosed during an endoscopy, a visual examination of the stomach through a thin, lighted flexible tube. It can also be diagnosed through a breath, stool or blood test.

How is it treated?
Several antibiotic drugs are used simultaneously to prevent the bacteria from developing resistance to any one of them. Additional treatments are also used to target any other conditions that may be present.

Are there any complications?
The bacteria may lead to gastritis, dyspepsia or stomach ulcers, and is also linked to stomach cancer and lymphoma.