H. Pylori Infection – Symptoms, Medical and Natural Treatment Options
Helicobacter Pylori (H. Pylori) is a bacterium that is present in the stomachs of nearly half of the people on Earth, according to UpToDate.com. In the majority of people who have the bacteria dwelling in the gut, no symptoms ever develop from an H. Pylori infection. The bacterium however can lead to some digestive troubles in some people including those that can arise from stomach acid as a result of its inflammatory effects on the stomach and duodenum (upper part of the small intestine).
In people that do encounter symptoms from a H. Pylori infection, they can be varied and can mimic commonalities that can be associated with simple indigestion. For instance, some common H. Pylori symptoms include a lack of appetite, vomiting and nausea. H. Pylori can also be one of the more common bloating causes experienced by those infected. A feeling of fullness, even after small amounts of food or smaller portioned meals can also be encountered. But, one of the most prevalent H. Pylori symptoms is generalized abdominal pain, although this can often be mistaken for many other causes of indigestion such as overeating, heartburn and excessive gas or stomach bloating.
Because of the generalized symptoms that appear with an H. Pylori infection, medical care is recommended to determine if the bacterium is the cause. Most often, tests such as a blood test, stool sample, urea breath test or even a biopsy will be utilized in order to determine whether the bacterium is present, at which point H. Pylori treatment can commence. Typically, this is a multifaceted approach that includes the use of medications in order to reduce stomach acid as well as antibiotics to help treat the bacterial source of the malady.
In the case of peptic ulcers caused by an H. Pylori infection, special medications designed to decrease the amount of stomach acid produced are used. While they do not directly treat a resulting peptic ulcer, they do allow for healing by eliminating the source of consistent aggravation – stomach acid. Most often, proton pump inhibitors are used for this purpose, such as Protonix and Prilosec.
There are some natural treatment options that can be considered to reduce H. Pylori as well. These include some food sources as well as some herbal and alternative therapies as well. For instance, Discovery Fit and Health notes that bananas can provide a dual remedy for both H. Pylori build up as well as reducing gastric symptoms. Bananas not only are effective at reducing the prolific growth of the bacteria, but also can afford some protection to the lining of the stomach as well. Purple fruits like plums and berries can also be useful in the application of reducing an H. Pylori infection. Herbal options also exist that may prove effective at defeating the bacterium and helping to promote symptom relief. Licorice (not the processed candy flavored with anise – the real stuff) has long been shown to have healing properties. While Discovery Fit and Health notes that it does not play a role in reducing acid production, it does limit the acid’s ability to negatively affect the lining of the stomach, which can help bring relief from symptoms. And, garlic, the wondrous herb has amazing antibacterial properties that can be effective against a large H. Pylori population.
It is important to remember that while there are alternative remedies to be considered for an H. Pylori infection that medical treatment is always advisable and recommended. This is because mismanagement of symptomatic forms of the condition can lead to serious complications. Bleeding, obstruction and perforation from ulcers eating through affected tissue can occur, and can be medical emergencies. Because of this, and because of H. Pylori contagious concerns, it is best that care be provided by a medical professional. However, a combination approach that incorporates both recommended medical therapy combined with alternative and lifestyle healing methods can certainly add to the successful overcoming of an H. Pylori infection. It is also incredibly important that if symptoms are present and persistent that medical care be sought out as soon as possible. Obtaining a diagnosis of an H. Pylori related condition can take some time. As many of the symptoms that present can be written off as other common ails, testing is required to confirm diagnosis. And, the additional time needed for symptom investigation and diagnosis can only add to the length of time that potentially problematic gastric conditions can develop. But, with identification and proper medical care combined with home remedies, H. Pylori can be swiftly eradicated leading to long term good digestive health.