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Helicobacter Pylori infection

Helicobacter pylori infection is a  disease caused by  Helicobacter pylori, which is a  bacterium that can live in the  stomach This infection  can occur when bacteria attack as  well as damage the stomach wall.

Under normal conditions,  the stomach will secrete acid to kill bacteria that enter the  digestive tract along with food. However, Helicobacter pylori can live in acid, so stomach  acid becomes  ineffective  in killing these bacteria.

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 Helicobacter pylori  infection   usually does not cause significant symptoms.  However, if it occurs  continuously,  Helicobacter pylori infection can cause gastrointestinal diseases  , such as gastritis (acute ulcer  or  chronic ulcer) peptic ulcer  , and  ulcer duodenum.

Causes of  Helicobacter pylori Infection

Helicobacter pylori infection is caused by  the presence of Helicobacter pylori  bacteria in the  stomach.  This bacterium  can be spread by:

  •  Oral or saliva contact  between the sufferer and a healthy person
  • Fecal-oral, that is,   through the patient's feces that are  not  cleaned properly
  • Consumption of water or food contaminated with bacteria

Risk factors for Helicobacter pylori infection

 Helicobacter pylori  infection can occur in anyone. However, a person will be  more easily infected with Helicobacter pylori if:

  • Living in an environment with  poor sanitation
  • Living in  densely populated settlements
  • Consuming drinking water  that is not cooked thoroughly
  • Sharing a place to live with  people with Helicobacter pylori infection

 

In developing countries,  Helicobacter pylori infection is more susceptible to occur in children, while in developed countries  ,   it is more  susceptible to occur   in adults.

 Symptoms of Helicobacter pylori Infection

 Helicobacter pylori infections  that have not  caused complications generally do not cause specific symptoms.  Symptoms usually  only appear when the  infection has already caused a wound or ulcer in the  gastrointestinal tract.  These symptoms  include:

  • Abdominal pain, especially on an empty stomach or at night
  •  Flatulence
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever
  •  Excessive saltpeter
  •  Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  •  Bloody or dark-colored  stools

When to see a doctor

See a  doctor if you feel any  of the above symptoms. This  intends to  ensure the condition while preventing  Helicobacter pylori infection from causing more serious complaints  and is not transmitted to others.

See a doctor immediately if you feel symptoms such as severe abdominal pain that does not go away,  bloody or  dark-colored stools, vomiting blood, or difficulty swallowing   food or drinks.

Diagnosis of Helicobacter pylori Infection

To diagnose Helicobacter pylori  infection, the  doctor will first  conduct questions and answers about the  symptoms felt,  medical history,   as well as medications that  the patient is or has taken.

After that,  the doctor will perform a  physical examination by pressing on the  patient's abdomen  to find out whether there is pain or swelling in the abdomen which can be a sign of Helicobacter pylori infection.

In order to make the diagnosis more accurate,  the doctor can also  perform the following supporting examinations:

  • Blood test, to detect the presence of  specific antibodies  of Helicobacter pylori in the blood
  • Urea breath test, to determine the presence of Helicobacter pylori in the body
  • Stool examination, to detect the presence or absence of  blood in the stool
  •   Endoscopy, to visually check for signs of Helicobacter pylori infection in the  digestive tract using an endoscope, which is a  thin long hose-shaped device equipped with  a   camera on  Ends

Treatment of  Helicobacter pylori Infection

Treatment is generally carried out when the  infection has caused symptoms that interfere with activity.  In addition, treatment is also carried out on patients who are at risk of developing gastric cancer,  gastric ulcer   ,  or duodenal ulcer.  The goal of treatment is to relieve symptoms and overcome the infection.

Treatment of  Helicobacter pylori infection is generally done by giving a combination of two or more types of antibiotics and drugs that can lower stomach acid.  The following  are the types of drugs that can be used to treat Helicobacter pylori infection:

  •  Proton  pump inhibitor drugs, such as, esomeprazole, rabeprazole, lansoprazole, and pantoprazole  , to decrease stomach acid production
  •  Antibiotic drugs, such as amoxicillinmetronidazoleclarithromycin,  and tetracyclin, to kill  Helicobacter pylori  bacteria found in the  digestive tract
  •  Histamine-2 inhibitor drugs (H2 blockers), such as cimetidine and ranitidine, to lower stomach acid production
  •  Antidiarrheal  drugs, such as subsalicylic bismuth, to prevent the  ulcer from getting  worse by protecting the injured lining of  the stomach   from stomach acid

To speed up healing and prevent the condition from worsening, patients are advised to avoid foods  that may hinder healing, such as  spicy and acidic  foods.   In addition, patients are also recommended not to  consume alcoholic beverages and not to smoke.

The doctor will ask the  patient to have a routine examination to find out the  response of  the treatment and  the progression of the disease.    Routine examinations carried out are fecal examinations and urea breath tests.

Complications of  Helicobacter pylori Infection

The following are some of the  complications that can occur due to Helicobacter pylori infection that is not handled properly:

  • Inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract  (gastritis)
  •  Gastric bleeding
  •  Gastric perforation  (leaking hull)
  • Infection of the walls of the  peritoneum (peritonitis)
  • Gastric cancer

Prevention of  Helicobacter pylori Infection

 Helicobacter pylori  infection can be avoided by applying the following  preventive measures:

  • Avoid consumption of unhygienic  foods or drinks
  • Avoid consumption of food or drinking water   that is not cooked thoroughly
  •  Washing hands before eating and after using the toilet

Post time: Dec-30-2022
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