Helicobacter Pylori is a type of pathogenic bacteria that infects your stomach. An overgrowth of this bacteria (H. Pylori) is associated with Gastritis, Peptic Ulcers and low stomach acidity. It can cause different symptoms in different individuals and could lead to many complications. That is why taking control over your gut health is very important in this situation. Helicobacter Pylori, also known as H. Pylori is a highly contagious bacterium that lives in the stomach. The bacteria are spread from person to person, and in a family situation, may be hard to get rid of. The bacteria bury itself into the stomach wall and wraps itself in ammonium to protect itself by neutralising the stomach acid, disabling it from killing the bacteria. This means that it is very hard to treat with antibiotics, and leaves many people undergoing months, sometimes years, of treatment, often with little success. If left untreated however, the disease can progress, developing very painful gastric ulcers, and can be life threatening. The stomach has a protective lining against stomach acid, however in the case of gastric ulcers, the nerves and tissues underneath the surface are exposed to acid. H. Pylori is a very clever bacterium. The acidity in your stomach, which normally kills bacteria, is balanced by ammonium. Your body keeps the stomach acid between a pH of 1-3, and excretes the correct amount of ammonium to keep it at this level. H. Pylori excretes an enzyme called urease, which stimulates ammonium production. Using this ammonium, it hides itself from the acid, immune complexes and antibiotics making it very difficult to treat. The excess ammonium also decreases the acidity of the stomach acid further, causing many problems with digestion and health. The conventional treatment for H. Pylori is a long course of antibiotics. Unfortunately, this is not always successful due to the bacteria being able to hide itself in ammonium and often playing dead by lying dormant to trick the body into thinking it has gone. Often, many courses of antibiotics are required which is damaging to our gut flora.
What are the symptoms of Helicobacter Pylori infection?
The symptoms, associated with H. Pylori infection may vary from one person to another, but here are the most common ones:
loss of appetite
How could Helicobacter Pylori be diagnosed?
There are few options:
- Biopsy of gastric tissue by endoscopy
- Stool testing
- Blood test or finger prick test
- Urea breath test
What are the causes for Helicobacter Pylori infection?
The causes of H. Pylori infection in some people might be low stomach acidity, compromised gut health or low hygiene.
The risk of getting this infection increases if you are in a contact with someone infected by this bacteria, although it is still unknown exactly how it spreads.
How could we eradicate Helicobacter Pylori?
Eradication process of the holistic approach to this infection may be different with different individuals. That is why working with a health professional is highly recommended.
There are some clinical studies that have shown improvement in eliminating H. Pylori, such as Astaxanthin, broccoli sprouts, cranberry juice, few probiotic strains and more.
Overall, good antioxidant status in the body and balanced gastric acid levels are needed for prevention of any pathogenic organism that can penetrate, overgrowth in your stomach and lead to many health complications.
Are Diet and Nutrition important for prevention of infectious diseases?
Healthy balanced diet is a key for many health conditions.
Also, avoiding caffeine containing drinks, increasing fibre and eliminating all “white foods” like sugar and processed foods may help in this process.
In some cases elimination diet could be a key to identify possible food sensitivities or intolerances that may have contributed to this condition.
Conditions like H. Pylori infection shows how important is the prevention, because you have the control over your health, not the pathogens!