Helicobacter pylori, commonly referred to as H. pylori, is a bacterium that infects the stomach and the small intestines. It is very common – more than 50% of the worldwide population is believed to have it – but most people are unaware that they have it.
You might have an H. pylori infection and not realize that you have it, since it shares the same symptoms as other gastroenterological issues. This infection tends to happen most frequently in children, and it often causes peptic ulcers (sores in the digestive tract).
Because H. pylori can potentially damage the stomach lining and cause serious complications, it should be evaluated by a doctor. Let’s talk about the symptoms and effects of an H. pylori bacterial infection, and where you can go for a professional evaluation and diagnosis by a skilled gastroenterologist.
Symptoms of H. Pylori Infection
If you have an H. pylori bacterial infection, you will experience pain and inflammation in the stomach. The H. pylori bacteria can make an enzyme that neutralizes your stomach acids. As a result, the environment changes, the stomach lining weakens, and peptic ulcers (open sores in the stomach and duodenum) can develop.
The H. pylori bacteria is the most common cause of stomach ulcers because it actually prompts the stomach to produce more acid. Peptic ulcers cause pain since the strong stomach acids will now hurt your stomach lining because it is compromised and is no longer well-protected.
What It Means for Your Digestive Health
The pain that comes from peptic ulcers can interfere with your regular daily activities and may prevent you from falling asleep, and this abdominal pain is your body’s way of saying that you need to seek medical attention. Peptic ulcers may cause:
- Frequent burping
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain
- Unexplained weight loss
Complications associated with H. pylori infection include a gastroenterological blockage, internal bleeding, ulcers in your stomach wall, and stomach cancer. This is why it is so important to have your digestive issues evaluated and treated by an experienced gastroenterologist, who can provide a thorough and accurate assessment and recommend treatment that works for you.
Gastroenterologist in Brooklyn and Westlake, OH
If you have abdominal pain or frequent digestive symptoms that warrant a medical evaluation, have our board-certified gastroenterologists at North Shore Gastroenterology diagnose your condition and devise a treatment that is appropriate for you. If you indeed have an H. pylori infection, we will get you started on treatment to alleviate your symptoms and heal your stomach lining.
Ulcers that develop from an H. pylori infection may heal within eight weeks with proper treatment. For patients with bleeding stomach ulcers, we provide treatment in our world-class endoscopy centers in Brooklyn and Westlake.
If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment with one of our outstanding gastroenterologists, contact our friendly staff today by calling us at (440) 808-1212 or by filling out our convenient online request form now. We look forward to helping you feel great once again!