H Pylori Infection – Cause, symptoms and tests
H pylori is the short form of Helicobacter pylori. It is a helix shaped, the microaerophilic bacterium usually found in the upper part of the stomach. H pylori is also the common cause of peptic ulcers. It is present in more than 50 percent of the world’s population. It is most common in developing countries than in western countries. Most of the people infected with H pylori never show any signs of symptoms because they don’t get sick from it. Acute gastritis accompanied by abdominal pain or nausea can appear as an infection. If present, the infection shows the symptom of ulcer dyspepsia. An infected person may have stomach pains, nausea, bloating, belching, vomiting or black stool.
Cause For H Pylori infection
The exact reason for H pylori infections is still unknown. The infection may pass through direct contact with vomit, saliva or fecal matter of the infected person. Contaminated food or water are also causes of infection. The risk factor of H pylori are related to living conditions such as
Living in highly crowded conditions.
Living with an infected person.
Contaminated food and water.
Unsanitary living conditions.
Further complications of H pylori infection may cause the person to develop ulcers and inflammation of stomach lining. H pylori infection is among major causes of certain types of stomach cancers.
Symptoms of H pylori infections
Normally, H pylori do not have any symptoms. When it leads to an ulcer, symptoms of abdominal pain may occur which may come and go. Sometimes pain worsens when the stomach is empty or few hours before meals. Some symptoms of H pylori include the following:
Frequent and excessive burping.
Abdominal pain especially when the stomach is empty.
Nausea and vomiting.
Anorexia or loss of appetite.
Unexpected and unintentional weight loss.
Burning pain in the abdomen.
Some of these symptoms are also shown by healthy people. These are the common symptoms. However, if any of them persist for a long duration, then it’s a matter of concern. One must consult a doctor immediately if any of these symptoms persist. Immediate and emergency medical help is required if anyone experiences:
Severe or persistent abdominal pain.
Difficulty in swallowing food.
Bloody or black color stools.
Bloody or black vomit that looks like coffee.
Immediate action should be taken. It is important to consult a doctor and take the prescribed medication. Doctors basically recommend H pylori test in peptic ulcer disease. The test includes a blood test, breath test, stool test and scope test.