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Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection occurs when a type of bacteria called Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infects your stomach.
Information Source The Mayo Clinic (here)

Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection occurs when a type of bacteria called Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infects your stomach.  This usually occurs during childhood.  A common cause of peptic ulcers, H. pylori infection can be present in more than half of the people in the world.

Most people do not realize they have H. pylori infection, because they never get sick.  


If you develop signs and symptoms of a peptic ulcer, your doctor will likely test you for H. pylori infection.  If you have H. pylori infection, it can be treated with antibiotics.

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Most people with H. pylori infection will never have signs or symptoms.  It is not clear why this is the case, but some people may be born more resistant to the harmful effects of H. pylori.

When signs or symptoms appear with H. pylori infection, they may include:

  • Pain or burning in the abdomen.

  • Abdominal pain that worsens when the stomach is empty.

  • Nausea

  • Loss of appetite

  • Frequent belching

  • Swelling

  • Involuntary weight loss


When to see a doctor

Make an appointment with your doctor if you notice persistent signs and symptoms that worry you.  Seek immediate medical help if you experience:

  • Severe or persistent abdominal pain

  • Difficulty to swallow

  • Bloody or tarry stools

  • Bloody or black vomit or vomit that looks like coffee grounds.



The exact way that H. pylori infects someone is still unknown.  The H. pylori bacteria can be spread from person to person through direct contact with saliva, vomit, or fecal matter.  H. pylori can also be spread through contaminated food or water.

Risk factor's

H. pylori is often contracted in childhood.  Risk factors for H. pylori infection are related to living conditions in your childhood, such as:

  • Living in crowded conditions.  You are at higher risk for H. pylori infection if you live in a household with many other people.

  • Living without a reliable supply of clean water.  Having a reliable supply of clean, running water helps reduce the risk of H. pylori.

  • Living in a developing country.  People living in developing countries, where crowded and unsanitary living conditions may be more common, are at increased risk of H. pylori infection.

  • Living with someone who has an H. pylori infection.  If someone you live with has H. pylori, they are more likely to have H. pylori as well.



Complications associated with H. pylori infection include:

  • Ulcers. H. pylori can damage the protective lining of the stomach and small intestine. This can allow stomach acid to create an open sore (ulcer). About 10 percent of people with H. pylori will develop an ulcer.

  • Inflammation of the stomach lining. H. pylori infection can irritate the stomach and cause inflammation (gastritis).

  • Stomach cancer. H. pylori infection is a major risk factor for certain types of stomach cancer.



A laboratory analysis is performed using a blood sample, in many cases the doctor will request a molecular test of stool. After this first step, everything will depend on the additional studies that the doctor needs to make a diagnosis.

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