Helicobacter pylori (H. Pylori)
What is H. pylori?
H. pylori is a spiral-shaped bacteria that may reside in the stomach (and duodenum). It most likely enters the body through the mouth, after drinking tainted water or eating contaminated food. H. pylori is good at protecting itself from stomach acid, and can to move into the mouth where it may be spread through saliva.
What symptoms does Helicobacter pylori cause?
H Pylori is often asymptomatic. It may cause abdominal pain or burning, burping, nausea or vomiting. Changes in your weight or appetite may occur, as may bloody stools or “coffee grounds” vomit.
How is Helicobacter pylori diagnosed?
Non-invasive breath testing may be helpful, and can provide a quick result. Another non-invasive test involves testing your faeces for particular proteins.
In some cases, an endoscopy may be recommended, and this may include a small biopsy of tissue from the stomach to confirm the diagnosis.
How is Helicobacter Pylori treated?
This is usually treated with antibiotics, taken for around 2 weeks, following which a breath or stool test is repeated to ensure that it has been eradicated. Despite successful treatment, reinfection down the track is possible