H Pylori Symptoms and what they Indicate

November 12, 2012

H Pylori Symptoms and what they Indicate

H pylori or helicobacter pylori is the bacteria which is to blame for the majority of ulcers. It is responsible in many cases for chronic gastritis which is probably one of the main H pylori symptoms.

H pylori symptoms do not always show in the majority of patients. A small percentage of patients develop ulcers or stomach cancer. H pylori symptoms when visible are much the same as symptoms of gastritis.

A hot pain just under the ribs is another typical symptom, exactly the same as a peptic ulcer. And as with gastritis when the stomach is empty the pain worsens. The h pylori symptoms experienced tend to improve after food has been eaten or an antacid has been taken.

More general h pylori symptoms may include burping, nausea, feeling bloated, loss of appetite, weight loss or black tarry feces.

A blood test is carried out to see if the body has made antibodies to the H pylori bacteria and if this is confirmed it means that you are infected or have suffered from a previous infection.

A urea breath test can also be carried out to confirm whether H pylori bacteria are present in the stomach area and whether there is an infection. This breath test is also used to ensure that any previous treatment of an infection has been successful. Do not eat or drink for approximately 6 hours before this breath test which is not always readily available.

A stool antigen test is used to check for the existence of substances which trigger the immune system to fight an H pylori infection in your feces. This test is also used to check if treatment for an H pylori infection has been successful and to support the diagnosis. Be sure to tell your doctor about all the prescription and nonprescription medicines you take as this can alter the results of the test. Your doctor may recommend that you stop taking some of your medicines.

Two weeks before the test refrain from taking proton pump inhibitors such as Prilosec or Nexium. Also one month before the test stop taking medicines such as Pepto-Bismol as they have bismuth in them. The results of the test can be affected by different medications; therefore it is important to tell the doctor about medicine you are taking. It may be that your doctor instructs you to refrain from taking certain medicines. Antibiotics should not be taken one month prior to the test and H2 blockers, e.g. Tagamet, Axid or Pepcid Zantac should not be taken 24 hours prior to the test. Consult with your doctor regarding any worries or concerns you may have about the tests, e.g. what will the results mean, how it is carried out and also why there is a requirement for the test.

Helicobacter pylori (H pylori) tests are carried out to find out if there is a helicobacter pylori infection in the stomach and upper part of the small intestine. H pylori can cause peptic ulcers and H pylori in the digestive system do not necessarily mean that ulcers will develop. These tests also determine whether an infection with H pylori bacteria may be causing an ulcer or irritation of the stomach lining (gastritis).

A stomach biopsy is carried out by taking a sample from the lining of your stomach and small intestine during an endoscopy, and different tests can be carried out on the sample. Prior to a stomach biopsy do not eat or drink for at least 6 hours.

Treatment of h pylori symptoms may include antibiotics as well as proton pump inhibitors and H2 blockers. These may lessen the amount of acid in the stomach.

In the past it was recommended to people who had ulcers not to eat fatty, spicy or acidic food. There is now evidence to show that diet has a very small effect on the development of ulcers.

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