An estimated 40% of people in the United States have a Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection, a bacteria that may cause gastric or peptic ulcers. The experienced team at Colorado Gastroenterology, with offices in Denver and Aurora, can diagnose and treat H. pylori to reduce your risk of gastric damage. To schedule an appointment, call the office today.
H. pylori is a bacterial infection that affects your stomach. Most people contract H. pylori during their childhood. The bacteria break down the protective lining of your stomach, which can lead to inflammation and ulcers.
An H. pylori infection is one of the leading causes of peptic and gastric ulcers.
Researchers are still investigating how a person contracts H. pylori but theorize infection with the bacteria can occur through saliva, vomit, or fecal matter. Contaminated food and water may also cause it.
You may be at risk of contracting H. pylori if you live in a crowded environment or you don’t have access to reliably clean water. You may also be at risk if you live with someone who has the infection.
No, the H. pylori itself doesn’t cause symptoms, and you may only begin to experience symptoms after the bacteria has broken down the protective lining of your stomach.
Common H. pylori symptoms include:
Not everyone with an H. pylori infection develops symptoms.
Your specialist at Colorado Gastroenterology may recommend a breath or stool test to determine if you have an H. pylori infection.
Your specialist may also recommend an endoscopy, which is a diagnostic test that allows your specialist to evaluate your esophagus and stomach, to assess for gastric damage.
Treatment of your H. pylori infection requires two antibiotics that you take at the same time. If your stomach lining has damage, your specialist may also prescribe medication to reduce acidity and help the tissue heal.
About four weeks after starting treatment, your specialist at Colorado Gastroenterology has you come back to the office to retest for the infection. If your follow-up test comes back positive for H. pylori, you may need another round of antibiotics. H. pylori is a common bacterial infection that can lead to other health issues. For a diagnosis and treatment plan, call Colorado Gastroenterology today .