Helicobacter Pylori Infection

( H. Pylori Infection)

Definition

Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a type of bacteria that can infect the stomach and intestines. It can lead to:
Gastric Ulcer
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Causes

This condition occurs when an infected person passes the bacteria to someone else. The bacteria are spread through:
  • Fecal-oral contact
  • Oral-oral contact

Risk Factors

Factors that increase your risk of H. pylori infection include being in:
  • Close contact with an infected person
  • A crowded and unsanitary living environment

Symptoms

In most cases, there are not any symptoms. However, if someone develops an ulcer or gastritis, symptoms may include:
  • Abdominal pain that may:
    • Awaken you from sleep
    • Change when you eat
    • Last for a few minutes or several hours
    • Feel like unusually strong hunger pangs
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Bloating
  • Black, tarry, or bloody stools
  • Burping
  • Vomiting blood
  • Lightheadedness

Diagnosis

Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.Tests may include:
  • Blood tests
  • Stool test
  • Endoscopy—a thin, lighted tube inserted down your throat to look inside your stomach and to take tissue samples for testing
  • Urea breath test—a test that can help detect if there is a current infection

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