Reduce the effects of Helicobacter pylori

November 12, 2012

Reduce the effects of Helicobacter pylori

Helicobacter pylori are a bacterium that affects the inner lining of the stomach causing chronic inflammation (or gastritis). The bacterium is generally the result of ingesting contaminated water or food and may also be contracted via contact with infected individuals. Helicobacter pylori are known to be the most common cause of stomach ulcers.

Infection as a result of Helicobacter pylori is more common in living conditions which are overcrowded and that have poor sanitation provision. Once an individual becomes infected with this bacterium they will generally always be a carrier unless specifically treated with medications that will eradicate it.

Symptoms

A Helicobacter pylori infection is characterized by a number of symptoms -

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Increased, frequent burping

  • Bloating

  • Acid indigestion or acid reflux

  • Blood in the stools

  • Persistent abdominal pain

  • Difficulty swallowing

If the more serious symptoms of an H. Pylori infection are present, such as blood in the stools, it may be necessary to seek medical attention.

Diagnosis

Diagnostic testing for H. Pylori infection is accurate and simple. Possible tests include -

  • Blood antibody test

  • Urea breath test

  • Stool antigen test

  • Endoscopic biopsy

A blood antibody test are useful in diagnosing an infection, but, may not necessarily determine if the bacterium have been eradicated by a program of antibiotics – this is because antibodies may persist in the blood for years after the initial infection has been treated.

Relieve and reduce symptoms

Treating an H. Pylori infection is essential since it may weaken the natural defences of the stomach lining making it vulnerable to the ulcerating actions of stomach acid.

In order to alleviate the symptoms and discomfort which comes from a Helicobacter pylori infection patients are often advised to make changes to their diet, these changes will involve eliminating foods from the diet which are known to create acid in the body and so aggravate the condition.

Foods to avoid

An individual who has been diagnosed with an infection of Helicobacter pylori will be advised to avoid the following foods -

  • Spicy, peppery foods including black and red pepper; chili; mustard powder and seeds; nutmeg and cloves. It is thought that these herbs and spices promote bacterial growth.

  • Foods which are high in fat – high levels of fat are thought to contribute to inflammation of the stomach lining.

  • Tomato based food and drinks

  • Switch regular brown vinegar for an apple cider vinegar

  • Avoid fried foods – choose the grilled or steamed options whenever possible

  • Avoid sugar, artificial sweeteners, confectionary and baked goods when the Helicobacter pylori are active.

  • Choose whole grain products rather than those containing white flour

  • Avoid foods and products containing hydrogenated or transfats, choose moderate amounts of healthy oils such as canola or olive instead.

  • Limit the intake of acid producing foods such as cabbage.

Complete eradication

The ideal outcome of any treatment program for H. pylori is complete eradication of the bacteria. This is often achieved by the use of two or more antibiotics in combination with a PPI and/or bismuth containing compound, both bismuth and PPIs have anti-h. Pylori effects, two or more antibiotics are necessary as H. pylori are resistant to commonly used varieties.

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