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 carry 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. Even if they are benign, it is important to take gastric ulcers seriously. This is because, not only can ulcers cause patients discomfort and pain, but they can also be a sign of increased risk for gastric cancer. If you suffer from gastric distress, it is always a good idea to seek out medical attention to get a clear picture of its root cause. Nearly every medical condition is treated more easily and effectively when caught early, and a combination of early diagnosis and treatment can reduce discomfort and pain.
How Are Helicobacter Pylori and Gastric Ulcers Treated?
One of the most common strategies for treating gastric ulcers is a conservative approach that includes prescribing medication and recommending a 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, it may be necessary for a patient to have an endoscopy or surgery to effectively treat the ulcer. Endoscopies involve passing a thing, flexible tube with a mounted camera through a patient’s mouth and esophagus to provide a clear view of their upper gastrointestinal tract that a doctor can then further evaluate. A doctor can also attach surgical tools to the endoscope to address conditions using its camera’s live feed to guide work.
If you are suffering with helicobacter pylori or gastric ulcers, the doctors at Gastroenterology of Westchester are available to assist with medication, diet changes, and any necessary procedures. Through a customized treatment plan, patients can better manage the issue and mitigate associated discomfort and pain.