What is helicobacter pylori infection and what are its symptoms?
This is a condition that occurs when a type of bacteria called helicobacter pylori infects a person’s stomach or duodenum, which is the first part of the small intestine.
This can often cause pain in the upper abdomen, bloating, nausea, and vomiting. While certain individuals may not suffer any kind of symptoms, certain problems can lead to the manifestation of symptoms. These include open sores (ulcers) and stomach cancer.
While there are no specific symptoms for this condition, those who suffer from stomach ulcers may display signs of:
- Pain in the upper abdomen
- Feeling full after consuming small quantities of food
- Lack of appetite
- Nausea or vomiting
- Dark faeces
However, it’s important to note that not all ulcers are caused by helicobacter pylori infection.
How is helicobacter pylori tested and treated?
This condition can be tested through:
- Blood test
- Breath tests
- Lab tests that examine a sample of your bowel
- Gastroscopy and biopsy
This condition can be treated with medicine taken for 2-3 weeks. These include medication that reduces the content of acid in the stomach, which help in the curing of infections and ulcers. Certain antibiotics may even be prescribed to help ulcers heal and prevent them from coming back.
After treatment, you may need to have follow-up tests to ensure that the helicobacter pylori infection is gone for good. These may include breath tests and an examination of a sample of your bowel movement.
Sometimes, medication may not be able to cure your infection. In this case, you will be prescribed more medicine.
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