H. pylori (Helicobacter Pylori ) Infection
Table of Contents
- Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection facts
- What is Helicobacter pylori (stomach bacteria)?
- How does a person become infected with H. pylori?
- What are the symptoms of H. pylori infections?
- Is H. pylori contagious?
- Which specialties of doctors treat H. pylori infection?
- Is there a test to diagnose H. pylori infection?
- What medications treat and cure H. pylori infection?
- Is H. pylori infection easy to cure?
- Can natural treatments cure H. pylori infection?
- Is everyone with H. pylori infection treated?
- Can H. pylori infections be prevented?
- What is the prognosis for a person with H. pylori infection?
How does a person become infected with H. pylori?
H. pylori bacteria may cause a stomach infection in some individuals.H. pylori infections start with a person acquiring the bacterium from another person (via either the fecal-oral or oral-oral route). Although the majority of individuals that have these bacteria in their GI tracts have few if any symptoms (see symptoms), most people develop stomach inflammation (gastritis) from the body's response to the bacterium itself and to a cytotoxin termed Vac-A, a chemical that the bacterium produces. Researchers also suggest that stomach acid stimulates the bacterium to grow and produce the cytotoxin, and increases invasion of the lining of the stomach by the bacteria, with resulting inflammation, and ulcer formation. Other investigators have shown that these bacteria and their products cause alterations in the cells lining the stomach that when altered are associated with stomach and other cancers, although these are infrequently seen diseases.
The frequency of people infected may somehow be related to race. About 60% of Hispanics and about 54% of African Americans have detectable organisms as compared to about 20% to 29% of White Americans. In developing countries, children are very commonly infected.