Helicobacter pylori is a type of bacteria that infects the stomach and small bowel. It was first discovered in 1982 by two Australian researchers who also found that it causes peptic ulcer disease.
H pylori is a type of bacteria that lives in the digestive tracts on entrance into the immune system. After many years, it can attack and weaken the protective mucus of the stomach and duodenum which secures you from the acid the body uses to digest food. When the bacteria have done enough damage, acid can get through to the lining beneath causing sores called Ulcer.
Most people don’t even realize they have ulcer infection, because they never get sick from it. If you develop signs and symptoms of a peptic ulcer, your doctor will probably test you for H. pylori infection. If you have H. pylori infection, it can be treated with antibiotics.
How can one get Ulcer
No one knows for sure how people catch H. pylori. In some cases, it is said to be contacted through contaminated food or water may be to blame, poor sewage system or vomit. It has been found in human saliva, so experts think it may be able to spread from person to person, body fluid of an infected person or faecal matter.
The bacteria are believed to cause stomach problems when they penetrate the stomach’s mucous lining and generate substances that neutralize stomach acids.
The penetration makes the stomach cells more vulnerable to the harsh acids. Stomach acid and H. pylori together irritate the stomach lining and may cause ulcers in your stomach or duodenum, which is the first part of your small intestine.
Too much intake of pain relief: taking aspirin, as well as certain over-the-counter and prescription pain medications called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can irritate or inflame the lining of your stomach and small intestine. These medications include ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), naproxen sodium (Aleve, Anaprox, others), ketoprofen and others. They do not include acetaminophen (Tylenol).
Peptic ulcers are more common in older adults who take these pain medications frequently or in people who take these medications for osteoarthritis.
Other medications: Taking certain other medications along with NSAIDs, such as steroids, anticoagulants, low-dose aspirin, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), alendronate (Fosamax) and risedronate (Actonel), can greatly increase the chance of developing ulcers. According to Mayo Clinic research
Risk factors of H. pylori (Ulcer)
- pylori is often contracted in childhood. Some risk factors for ulcer infection can be related to living conditions of a person such as:
- Living in a developing country: People living in developing countries, where crowded and unsanitary living conditions may have a higher risk of contacting H. pylori infection.
- Living in crowded conditions
- Living with someone who has an Ulcer infection: If someone you live with has H. pylori, you’re more likely to also have H. pylori.
- Living without a reliable supply of clean water: Having a reliable supply of clean, running water helps reduce the risk of H. pylori.
- Smoke. Smoking may increase the risk of peptic ulcers in people who are infected with H. pylori.
- Drink alcohol. Alcohol can irritate and erode the mucous lining of your stomach, and it increases the amount of stomach acid that’s produced.
- Have untreated stress.
- Eat spicy foods.
Signs/Symptoms of Ulcer (H Pylori)
When signs or symptoms do occur with H. pylori infection, they may include:
- An ache or burning pain in your abdomen
- Abdominal pain that’s worse when your stomach is empty
- Loss of appetite
- Frequent burping
- Unintentional weight loss
- nausea and vomiting that may include vomiting blood,
- passing dark or tarry-like stools,
- low red blood cell count (anemia),
- decreased appetite,
- peptic ulcers,
- bad breath.
Testing for Helicobacter pylori
- The Helicobacter pylori test strip is a qualitative membrane strip based immunoassay for the detection of Helicobacter pylori antibodies in serum or plasma.
- In this test procedure, anti-human IgG is immobilized in the test line region of the device.
- After a serum or plasma specimen is placed in the specimen well, it reacts with Helicobacter pylori antigens coated particles in the test region.
- This mixture migrate chromatographically along the length of the test and interacts with the immobilized anti-human IgG.
- If the specimen contains Helicobacter pylori antibodies, a coloured line will appear in the test line region indicating a positive result.
- If the specimen does not contain Helicobacter pylori antibodies, a coloured line will not appear in the test region indicating a negative result.
Control of H pylori (Ulcer)
- Helicobacter pylori is a treatable infection.
- Early diagnosis and treatment is the most effective way to prevent the Helicobacter pylori.
- Do not starve yourself much but eat always.
- Stop NSAIDs or take a much smaller dose.
- Only take NSAIDs with special medicines that protect the stomach.
- Avoid alcohol.
- Do not smoke.
- Antibiotics to kill H. pylori.
- Medicines that reduce stomach acid called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) or histamine receptor blockers.
- Medicines that coat the ulcer and help it heal.
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