Helicobacter pylori (also known as H. pylori) is a type of bacteria that can infect the lining of the stomach and parts of the small intestine. Most people infected with H. pylori never experience any symptoms, but in some cases, it is possible to develop different gastrointestinal problems. The symptoms can vary from mild discomfort to more serious complications.
If you think you might have an H. pylori infection, you can test yourself with the H. pylori Antigen Rapid Rest Kit.
What are the symptoms of an H. pylori infection?
When it comes to H. pylori, symptoms of the infection can often get mistaken for symptoms of other diseases or medical conditions. This is why it is so important to take any measures necessary such as testing and consultation with a healthcare professional if you experience any of the following symptoms:
Abdominal pain, especially in the upper area, is one of the common symptoms of an H. pylori infection. The pain can resemble a burning sensation and often gets worse when eating. Discomfort, bloating, and a feeling of fullness in the stomach are also possible symptoms.
Loss of appetite
The infection can lead to inflammation of the stomach’s lining, a condition known as gastritis. This inflammation can also cause other symptoms, such as indigestion, burping, and a sour taste in the mouth.
What are the potential consequences?
The most common complications in people infected with H. pylori include gastritis and ulcers. Chronic gastritis can intensify any feelings of discomfort in the digestive system and cause symptoms such as stomach ache, bloating, and indigestion.
In more severe cases, the infection with H. pylori can lead to the development of a peptic (or stomach) ulcer. These are sores or lesions formed on the stomach’s lining or the duodenum. The peptic ulcer can cause a more intense pain in the stomach that is often described as a burning sensation.
Long-term infections with H. pylori are also associated with developing more serious conditions, including stomach cancer. Although the majority of infections with this type of bacteria do not progress to such diseases, H. pylori is considered a significant risk factor.
This is why early diagnosis and treatment play a vital role in the prevention of potential complications. If the presence of the bacteria in the body is confirmed by a healthcare professional, they can prescribe a combination of antibiotic and antacid medicine to eliminate the infection and promote healing of the affected tissue. Regular monitoring and follow-up care is important, especially in people at higher risk of complications.