top of page

H Pylori can wreak havoc on your entire gut...

Helicobacter Pylori H pylori

Do you experience the following symptoms frequently:

  • bloating

  • belching

  • heartburn/reflux

  • nausea/vomiting

  • back tarry stools

  • gnawing feeling in their empty stomach on waking

  • loss of taste for meat

  • persistently low levels of Vitamin C and iron


Well then, you may want to learn more about this small but mighty bug called H pylori which can literally wreck your digestive system! While talking about bugs/bacteria can be highly scientific in nature, I am going to try and simplify it as much as I possibly can...


What is H Pylori?

Helicobacter pylori or H pylori as it is commonly referred to is a normal bacteria found in the stomach, and around 50% of the population has it in varying degrees. When it proliferates it can be highly problematic for your digestive system as it suppresses your stomach acid production. Think of digestion as a North to South highway - if the highway is damaged or broken up north (stomach), it cannot truly be functioning too well southward (small intestine, colon, etc). So when we have an issue in the stomach, we almost always have an issue with the rest of our gut.


Why should you care about Helicobacter Pylori (H Pylori)?


Helicobacter Pylori
H Pylori drilling itself into stomach lining

When H pylori proliferates, it has been associated with inflamed stomach lining and gastritis which often results in stomach pain, nausea, bloating,reflux/ heartburn, and sometimes vomiting or very dark/ tarry like bowel movements (Reshetnyak, 2021). H pylori loooves alkaline (not very acidic) environments and just like any living organism looking to survive, it has developed certain mechanisms to ensure its survival - such as drilling itself into your stomach lining and finding layers of the stomach which are less acidic (Waldum, 2016). As H pylori thrives in your stomach and to further ensure its survival, it damages certain cells responsible for releasing gastric juices (stomach acid) into your stomach (Smolka, 2012).


What damage can Helicobacter Pylori (H Pylori) do to your gut?

Well, this is now gonna sound real serious and it truly is. From people infected with H. pylori, around 16% have a higher lifetime risk of developing peptic ulcers and around 1-3% run the risk of stomach cancer (Wroblewski, 2010), so it is important to figure out whether you have it and take the necessary measures.


How can you figure out if you have H Pylori in your gut?

It is really easy to test for H Pylori - you can do it in the comfort of your home with an at home gut test called the GI MAP.

Up to recently, endoscopy with biopsy (ouch!) and urease testing have been considered the best ways to test for the presence of the bacteria. However, numerous studies published in the medical literature suggest that PCR testing (which the GI MAP uses) has shown similar specificity and sensitivity to biopsy + urease testing (Rimbara, 2013).


References:

Reshetnyak, V. I., Burmistrov, A. I., & Maev, I. V. (2021). Helicobacter pylori: Commensal, symbiont or pathogen?. World journal of gastroenterology, 27(7), 545–560. https://doi.org/10.3748/wjg.v27.i7.545


Rimbara, E., Sasatsu, M., & Graham, D. Y. (2013). PCR detection of Helicobacter pylori in clinical samples. Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 943, 279–287. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-60327-353-4_19


Smolka, A. J., & Backert, S. (2012). How Helicobacter pylori infection controls gastric acid secretion. Journal of gastroenterology, 47(6), 609–618. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00535-012-0592-1


Waldum, H. L., Kleveland, P. M., & Sørdal, Ø. F. (2016). Helicobacter pylori and gastric acid: an intimate and reciprocal relationship. Therapeutic advances in gastroenterology, 9(6), 836–844. https://doi.org/10.1177/1756283X16663395


Wroblewski, L. E., Peek, R. M., Jr, & Wilson, K. T. (2010). Helicobacter pylori and gastric cancer: factors that modulate disease risk. Clinical microbiology reviews, 23(4), 713–739. https://doi.org/10.1128/CMR.00011-10


Disclaimer: This post is intended for inspirational and informational purposes only, is not a substitute for medical advice, and is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease. Consult with your healthcare provider before making any changes to your routine.

11 views0 comments

Related Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page