Helicobacter Pylori

What is Helicobacter pylori?

The bacteria H. pylori lives in the lining of the stomach. It is the most common infection in the world and is more common in developing countries. It causes inflammation of the stomach's lining and increased production of gastric acid, which can cause gastritis, ulcers and some stomach cancers.


How is Helicobacter pylori transmitted?

It's not fully understood how people get infected with H. pylori. It's thought to be spread though contact with the saliva or faecal matter (poo) of an infected person, or by consuming contaminated water or food. With the improvement in basic hygiene there has been a decrease in H. pylori in the developed world.


It is likely that people become infected as children, but you can also be infected as an adult.


What conditions does Helicobacter pylori cause?

Most people who are infected with H. pylori eventually develop gastritis (inflammation of the lining of the stomach) but they may not show any symptoms.


If you are infected with H. pylori, you are more likely than other people to develop ulcers in the stomach or duodenum (the first part of the small intestine).


It also increases the risk of cancer of the stomach, but this is very rare in Australia.


How is Heliobacter pylori diagnosed?

There are several ways H.Pylori can be detected in people with symptoms, such as ulcers or gastrointestinal pain. Your doctor will request the right tests for your case, which might include:


How is Helicobacter pylori treated?

Some people with H.pylori won't need any treatment, particularly if they don't have any symptoms.

If you're diagnosed with a stomach ulcer caused by H. pylori, your doctor will most likely treat it with a mix of antibiotics and acid-suppressing medicine. This will also speed up ulcer healing and help prevent more ulcers from developing because the antibiotics will kill the bacteria.


Once H.pylori has been successfully eradicated, your risk of being infected again is very low.


Can Helicobacter pylori be prevented?

You can reduce your chances of getting H. pylori in the same way you protect yourself from other bacteria, for example by:


Resources and support


To know more about the breath test click here