It’s been a few days since I have not posted anything. I got a little busy, and to confess, I have been unwell. I had the flu that kept returning, felt dizzy, had lung pains, lost my appetite, had nausea, had difficulty swallowing, and had abdominal discomfort.
In the beginning, I thought that maybe I had the Covid19 Virus, and got scared. Feeling tired of taking so many over-the-counter medicines that did not work I thought that it was time to visit a doctor and get tested.
On Friday, I took my courage and in the morning, went out to the clinic. Everything went well, with no problems, and by 4 PM I had the results. Turns out, it’s not the Virus that caused all my problems but chronic gastritis with high reflux and Helicobacter Pylori.
Today’s post is going to be, mostly about Helicobacter Pylori.
What is Helicobacter?
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a bacteria that causes infections in our stomach. These germs can enter our bodies and live in the digestive tract. After many years, these germs can cause sores called ulcers in the lining of our stomach or the upper part of our small intestine.
H. Pylori can also be found in stool, saliva, and plague on the teeth. H. Pylori can be transmitted from one person to another especially if people who are infected do not thoroughly wash their hands after a bowel movement. People may also spread the bacteria through kissing or other close contact.
The infection with this bacteria is very common and affects two-thirds of the world’s population.
What are the causes of Helicobacter pylori?
The causes of Helicobacter are multiple, the bacteria can be present in water, spicy foods, and can be caused by smoking habits but it can also be triggered by stress and a bad lifestyle.
In cases of an ulcer, we may feel a dull or burning pain in our belly. The pain will come and go, but we will feel it the most when the stomach is empty, between meals, or in the middle of the night. The pain can last for a few minutes or even hours. Drinking milk, eating, and taking an anti-acid can help us calm the pain.
Other symptoms may include: bloating, burping, nausea, vomiting, weight loss for no reason. Also, in advanced cases, we may experience trouble breathing, dizziness, pale skin color, heartburn, feeling very tired for no reason, severe, sharp pain in the stomach.
I preferred a blood test, as it was the fastest method at the time. Since I did not even know that I had Helicobacter, I only tested because my doctor advised me to do so. However, your doctor may also recommend physical exams, endoscopy, biopsy or CT, or an MRI.
In severe cases of Helicobacter, treatment is required to kill the germs, heal the stomach lining, and keep the sores from coming back.
The treatment consists of:
- Antibiotics – to kill the bacteria in the body, such as amoxicillin or metronidazole
- Drugs that reduce the amount of acid in our stomach by blocking the tiny pumps that produce it. Examples: Esomeprazole, Omeprazole
- Bismuth subsalicylate may help to kill the H. Pylori bacteria along with antibiotics
- Medicines that block the chemical histamine, which prompts our stomach to make more acid. Examples: Cimetidine, Ranitidine
The treatment is prescribed by a doctor and the dozes and periods are established by him/her only. Mine prescribed a treatment of two months because I am in an advanced state.
- Wash our hands after using the bathroom or after preparing or eating the food
- Avoid foods or water that are not clean
- Avoid caffeine (a challenge for me)
- Don’t eat anything that is not cooked thoroughly
It’s important to avoid eating spicy foods, carbonated drinks, picked foods, smoking, or drinking alcohol. Also, stress can be a huge triggering factor for this Bacteria, and we need to stay relaxed or at least try to.
The foods that are considered natural treatments for H. Pylori (not scientifically proven though) are the following: broccoli, manuka tea, manuka honey, coconut oil.
Unfortunately, I have had a history of gastritis from infancy as a result of my bad dietary habits, which included consuming fast food and unhealthy meals. Yet I assumed it had gone away and that I was finally cured. It turns out to be the other way around.
I can only hope that things will improve and that I will be able to return to normality after completing the physicians’ recommended treatments.