Helicobacter Pylori - Gastroenterology of Westchester LLC
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Helicobacter Pylori

What Is Helicobacter Pylori?
Helicobacter Pylori is a bacteria commonly found in the digestive tract which can lead to the development of stomach ulcers. Approximately two thirds of the population carries these bacteria, although for most people it doesn’t cause ulcers to develop. It is more common in parts of the world where access to clean water is limited. The bacteria attack the lining of the stomach, decreasing the protection it offers against the acid digestive juices. As the acid breaches the lining it can lead to ulcers, which may bleed, cause infections, or affect the digestive process.


What Symptoms do Ulcers or Helicobacter Pylori cause?
Stomach ulcers produce a dull or burning pain in the stomach. The pain may come and go and most people notice it more when the stomach is empty. You may experience bloating, burping, feelings of nausea, or a decreased appetite. Gastric ulcers should be taken seriously, even if they are benign. Ulcers cause significant discomfort and are known indicators of increased risk for gastric cancer. If you suffer from gastric distress, it is important to seek medical attention. Almost every medical condition is more easily treated in its early stages, and early diagnosis and treatment can cut down on the pain and discomfort a person will have to live with while waiting on treatment.


How Are Helicobacter Pylori and Gastric Ulcers Treated?
Most doctors will begin treatment conservatively with medication and diet change. A course of antibiotics can kill the bacteria in your stomach. You may also take an H2 blocker or a proton pump inhibitor to reduce the amount of acid produced by the stomach. However, if the bacteria have caused ulcers to develop and become severe, other treatments including endoscopies and surgery are available to treat the ulcer. During an endoscopy, a thin and flexible tube with a camera mounted on the end is passed through a mildly sedated patient’s HOMEPAGE mouth and esophagus to view the upper gastrointestinal tract. Other surgical tools can be attached to an endoscope, allowing a doctor to address conditions like ulcers while the camera provides live-feed video to guide his work