What is H.pylori?
Helicobacter pylori is a spiral shaped bacterium found in the stomach. H. pylori is linked to the development of duodenal ulcers, gastric ulcers and stomach cancer. Ulcers occur when H. pylori penetrates the protective lining of the stomach which allows excess acid to irritate the stomach and duodenal. Even after an ulcer has healed, it often comes back within a year. When H. Pylori is completely eliminated the chances that a duodenal ulcer will return are significantly reduced. Most of those diagnosed with a duodenal ulcer also have H. pylori, but not everyone who has H. pylori will get an ulcer.
- Burning or cramping pain in the stomach
- Eating or drinking may cause pain with gastric ulcers
- Eating or drinking may cause pain to go away with duodenal ulcers
- Belching and bloating
Iron deficiency anemia has been linked to Helicobactor pylori.
Diagnosis of H. pylori
- Breath test: Patient breathes into a special tube to determine the presence of H. pylori after drinking a liquid given by the nursing staff.
- Blood test: Physician analyzes your blood sample to detect the presence of the H. pylori bacterium.
- Biopsy:Your doctor takes a small tissue sample of biopsy, of your stomach linking using an endoscope.
Diagnosis of an ulcer
- Upper GI Series
Find more information in this video on Preparing for an Upper GI Endoscopy, from the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA)