Regional Gastrointestinal Consultants

Helicobacter Pylori Infection

Helicobacter Pylori Infection

Helicobacter Pylori Infection

Overview

Helicobacter Pylori Infection, also known as Campylobacter Pylori, was discovered in 1983 of the helicobacter pylori organism by Drs. Warren and Marshall is one of the major advances in gastroenterology in recent decades. This discovery has revolutionized the approach to many upper gastrointestinal disorders, especially peptic ulcer disease. Helicobacter pylori causes a spectrum of disease in humans, including gastritis, ulcer disease (gastric and duodenal), and probably gastric cancer and gastric lymphoma.

The links between helicobacter pylori infection and gastric carcinoma and lymphoma are less established, but it is highly likely that helicobacter pylori is at least one cause of these stomach cancers. Thus, helicobacter pylori infection is a condition of enormous importance throughout the world.

Symptoms

Indigestion (dyspepsia) is a very common symptom, and a high proportion of people with dyspepsia will have helicobacter pylori infection causing gastritis. Furthermore, up to 10% of the population will develop peptic ulcer disease at some time in their lives and most duodenal ulcers and many gastric ulcers are due to helicobacter pylori infection.

Treatment

Infection with helicobacter pylori can be diagnosed by biopsy with pathological examination and the urea breath test; both are accurate. A blood test can indicate previous exposure, but not necessarily active infection.

Treatment is based on a proton pump inhibitor (to reduce acid secretion in the stomach) taken simultaneously with two antibiotics for 7-10 days. Compliance, side effects and bacterial resistance to metronidazole (one of the antibiotics that can be taken) influence the success of therapy.

Second-line therapy is offered to those patients who remain infected after initial treatment, once the reasons for failure of first-line therapy (e.g. compliance) have been established. For those who are still infected after two treatments, the choice lies between a third attempt with quadruple therapy (where bismuth is added to the triple therapy) or simple maintenance therapy with acid suppression. It can be very difficult to eradicate helicobacter pylori in a small percentage of patients, due to antibiotic resistance.

IMPORTANT HEALTH NOTE

We recommend that people experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms do not attempt self-treatment. With many medications being available over the counter, and numerous do-it-yourself online unqualified remedy recommendation, it is natural to consider treating yourself but we highly recommend against this.

If you are experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms you may have a more significant issue than you would expect from the sometimes muted or infrequent symptom you may be experiencing. It is important to keep in mind that is you are having gastrointestinal symptoms or concerns it is best see a doctor to have those symptoms diagnosed and any conditions treated. Also, it is worth noting, that if health conditions do exist, the earlier they are diagnosed and treated, the greater the probability will be to successfully eliminate or manage a present condition, in fact successful outcomes will increase significantly with early detection.

If you have gastrointestinal concerns or are experiencing any gastrointestinal symptoms, please contact us promptly to schedule a consultation with a physician.


DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY

The information on this website is to provide general information. In no way, does any of the information provided reflect definitive medical advice and self-diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a best in class physician regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs as it may a sign of a serious illness or condition. A thorough consultation and examination should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call a physician or call our office today at (215) 321-4700 to schedule a consultation.