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Helicobacter pylori bacteria

Helicobacter pylori bacteria: Introduction

Helicobacter pylori bacteria is a type of harmful microorganism that can infect the stomach and cause such diseases as peptic ulcer and gastritis. An infection of Helicobacter pylori bacteria can also increase the risk of developing stomach cancer.

An infection of Helicobacter pylori bacteria is a very common condition. It is believed that infections of Helicobacter pylori bacteria may be contagious. Infections of Helicobacter pylori bacteria often run in families.

Helicobacter pylori bacteria attach themselves to the lining of the stomach, causing inflammation. This is called gastritis. Ongoing or chronic gastritis can lead to the development of a peptic ulcer. A peptic ulcer is a potentially serious condition that occurs when the lining of protective mucus of the stomach or duodenum of the small intestine breaks down.

Many cases of infections of Helicobacter pylori bacteria do not produce symptoms until complications, such as peptic ulcer, appear. When symptoms of an infection of Helicobacter pylori bacteria do develop, they can resemble symptoms of a variety of diseases and conditions. Some symptoms include heartburn, nausea, and vomiting. For information about other important symptoms and complications, see symptoms of Helicobacter pylori bacteria.

Diagnosing an infection of Helicobacter pylori begins with taking a thorough personal and family medical history, including symptoms, and completing a physical examination.

Blood, breath, and stool tests may be done to help reveal a possible infection of Helicobacter pylori bacteria. These tests can point to a diagnosis of an infection of Helicobacter pylori bacteria, but are not definitive. A stool sample may also be tested to determine if there is blood in the stool, which could indicate that the complications of a perforated peptic ulcer has developed.

More definitive diagnostic testing includes an endoscopy procedure. In this procedure, a special lighted, flexible instrument is inserted through the mouth and throat into the stomach. This instrument, called an endoscope, takes pictures of the stomach and/or sends images to a computer monitor. An endoscope can help a physician to see damage that may have been done to the lining of the stomach or duodenum of the small intestine due to an infection of Helicobacter pylori bacteria and can also help diagnose the complication of peptic ulcer.

During an endoscopy, a biopsy is also performed. A biopsy involves taking a small sample of esophagus or stomach tissue to examine it under a microscope for the presence of an infection of Helicobacter pylori bacteria. The sample may also be tested for the presence of cancer cells, which indicates stomach cancer.

Diagnosis may also include a complete blood count, which can determine if anemia is present and may indicate that the complication of a peptic ulcer has become a perorated peptic ulcer and is bleeding.

A diagnosis of an infection of Helicobacter pylori bacteria can be delayed or missed because many people do not experience any symptoms. In addition, symptoms that do occur can mimic symptoms of a variety of other diseases, disorders and conditions. For more information about misdiagnosis and other diseases, disorders and conditions that can mimic an infection of Helicobacter pylori bacteria, refer to misdiagnosis of Helicobacter pylori bacteria.

Treatment of an infection of Helicobacter pylori bacteria includes medications, certain dietary recommendations, and addressing any complications, such as peptic ulcer. For more details about treatment, refer to treatment of Helicobacter pylori bacteria. ...more »

Helicobacter pylori bacteria: A bacteria found in the lining of the gastric system which can cause stomach infections resulting in conditions such as peptic ulcer disease, dyspepsia and gastritis. Occasionally, the bacterial infection may even lead to gastric cancers. The bacteria may exist in some people without causing any symptoms. ...more »

Helicobacter pylori bacteria: Symptoms

Typically, people with an infection of Helicobacter pylori bacteria do not experience symptoms until complications, such as gastritis and peptic ulcer develop.

When symptoms do occur, they can vary in nature and severity between individuals.

Symptoms of an infection of Helicobacter pylori bacteria, gastritis and peptic ulcer can include ...more symptoms »

Helicobacter pylori bacteria: Treatments

Treatment an infection of Helicobacter pylori bacteria involves a multifaceted plan that minimizes any symptoms and the risk of developing serious complications, such as a peptic ulcer.

Treatment of an infection of Helicobacter pylori bacteria includes antibiotic medications. A combination of antibiotics may need to be taken in order to effectively cure the infection. For the best ...more treatments »

Helicobacter pylori bacteria: Misdiagnosis

A diagnosis of an infection of Helicobacter pylori bacteria may be delayed or missed because many people do not experience symptoms until complications, such as peptic ulcer, develop.

When symptoms do appear, they can be similar to symptoms of a wide variety of other diseases and conditions. These include indigestion, GERD, biliary colic, ...more misdiagnosis »

Symptoms of Helicobacter pylori bacteria

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Causes of Helicobacter pylori bacteria

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Misdiagnosis and Helicobacter pylori bacteria

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Antibiotics often causes diarrhea: The use of antibiotics are very likely to cause some level of diarrhea in patients. The reason is that antibiotics kill off not only "bad" bacteria, but can also kill the "good" bacteria in the gut. This...read more »

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Chronic digestive diseases hard to diagnose: There is an inherent difficulty in diagnosing the various types of chronic digestive diseases. Some of the better known possibilities are peptic ulcer, colon cancer, ...read more »

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Helicobacter pylori bacteria: Rare Types

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