H. Pylori infection is happening when a type of bacteria called H. Pylori ((Helicobacter pylori) infects the stomach. Usually, this is happening during childhood. This is the most common type of bacteria which grows in the digestive tract and it has a tendency to attack the stomach. There are some studies in which are estimated that 60% of the world’s population is affected by H. Pylori infection.
H. Pylori is a very common cause of peptic ulcers. The H from the H. pylori is a shortcut from the “Helico” that is a term for spiral and it means that the H. Pylori is spiral-shaped. The H. Pylori infection can be present in more than half people in the world. Many people do not realize that they have H. Pylori infection because they never get sick from this infection. If you have some signs and symptoms of peptic ulcers, then your doctor will make tests to check if you have H. Pylori infection.
If you have an H. Pylori infection, then it can be treated antibiotics. In those areas of the world where the H. Pylori infection and its complications are very common, doctors are testing healthy people for H. Pylori. It is controversial among doctors if there is a benefit to treat the H. Pylori when you do not have signs and symptoms of H. Pylori infection. If you are concerned then you have a risk of H. Pylori infection or if you think that you have a risk for stomach cancer, then you should talk with your doctor. Your doctor will decide if you can benefit from H. Pylori screening.
H. Pylori infection Symptoms
There are many people who have H. Pylori infection and who never have any signs or symptoms. It is not known why is like this but it is thought that some people may be born with more resistance to the harmful effects of H. Pylori. When the signs and symptoms of H. Pylori infection, then they can include:
- Unintentional weight loss
- Frequent burping
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain which is worsening when your stomach is empty
- An ache or burning pain in your abdomen
If you have noticed some persistent signs and symptoms which worry you, then you should talk with your doctor. Also, you should seek immediate medical help if you experience: bloody or black vomit that looks like coffee grounds; bloody or black tarry stools; difficulty swallowing; severe or persistent abdominal pain.
H. Pylori infection Causes
It is still unknown what the exact cause is for someone who has a H. Pylori infection. The H. Pylori can be passed from one person to another through direct contact saliva, vomit or fecal matter. Also, the H. Pylori can be spread through contaminated water or food.
H. Pylori infection Risk factors
Often, the H. Pylori is contracted in childhood. The risk factors for H. Pylori infection which are related to living conditions in your childhood, such as
- Living with someone who has a H. Pylori infection: There are some studies in which are said that if you live with someone who has H. Pylori, then you have more chances to have H. Pylori infection.
- Living in a developing country: Those people who live in developing countries, where unsanitary and crowded living conditions can be more common, then you have increased risk of H. Pylori infection.
- Living without a reliable supply of clean water: If you have a reliable supply of clean and running water, then this will reduce your risk of H. Pylori infection.
- Living in crowded conditions: If you live in a home with many other people, then you have increased risk of getting H. Pylori infection.
H. Pylori infection Complications
Here are some complications associated with H. Pylori infection:
- Stomach cancer: There are some studies in which are said that the H. Pylori infection is increasing your chances for some types of stomach cancer a lot.
- Inflammation of the stomach lining: It is known that the H. Pylori infection can irritate your stomach and this can cause inflammation (known as gastritis).
- Ulcers: The H. Pylori can cause damages to the protective lining of your stomach and small intestine. This can allow the stomach acid to create ulcer, which is an open sore. It is known fact that about 10% of people who have H. Pylori can develop an ulcer.