What is helicobacter pylori?

Are you feeling bloated? Do you have abdominal pain? Have you become besties with your toilet seat lately? If so, it’s time to investigate the culprit behind your stomach woes. One possible answer: Helicobacter pylori.

The Basics

Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori for short) are spiral-shaped bacteria that can inhabit our stomachs and duodenum. These pesky little guys get around and can wreak havoc on our digestive system by triggering inflammation of the gastric lining and potentially causing ulcers or even cancer in some cases.

You’re probably wondering how these bacteria hitched a ride into your gut in the first place. Well, H. pylori is usually transmitted through person-to-person contact such as via saliva or fecal matter – so make sure not to share those dirty forks, knives, plates or drinks!

How do You Know if You’ve Got It?

The exact symptoms of an H. pylori infection are quite variable – some folks may experience no issues at all while others might feel like they’ve been punched repeatedly in the tummy region.

Some common signs of an H. pylori infection include:

  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Bloating
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Bad breath (yuck!)

If any number of these seem familiar to you it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional who will administer a test for confirmation/diagnosis.


There are several ways that medical professionals assess whether or not someone has fallen victim to this bacterial menace including;

  1. Breath Test: In this case, patients drink something called “urea,” which breaks down into carbon dioxide gas upon encountering the bacteria-residing within their gut.
  2. Stool Test: Ok, let’s be honest here collecting stool samples honestly stinks. However, this test is pretty straightforward; once the stool samples are collected specialists diagnose it and voila! We have our results.
  3. Blood Test: No needle-phobia here! A simple blood test checks for Helicobacter pylori-specific antibodies in one’s system
  4. Endoscopy: This method can be done by a qualified specialist to take biopsy samples of H.pylori residing within your gut.


On the bright side, there’s good news – over-the-counter drugs/supplements like antacids won’t cure you., But no worries! There are treatment options available:


Antibiotics resist bacteria (that includes H.pylori) directly without allowing it any space to survive inside.

Famously-used antibiotics to treat an H.pylori infection include:

  • Amoxicillin
  • Clarithromycin
  • Tinidazole/ Metronidazole

These bad boys can cause their own side effects including stomach pain or bloating so discuss with your Doctor if these medications would suit you best.

Acid suppression Therapy

This type of therapy reduces the acid production generated by stomach-lining cells resulting in soothing inflammation caused due to hyperacidity.

Proton-pump inhibitors, such as omeprazole) or H2 blockers(such as cimetidine), may be prescribed during acid-suicide therapy.

Keep in mind that bacterial resistance also applies when dealing with antimicrobial medication, therefore proper dosages need to be maintained until completion/doctors’ advice with suitable duration for maximum efficacy satisfaction

Prevention Methods

Now we get to some fun bits – prevention measures!

Was that platter which had peeled 0range slices shared among multiple people? Did someone feel generous enough at the party and decided sharing food was a great idea? Because let us make things clear sharing isn’t always caring.

Washing your hands after using the bathroom, and before eating or preparing food is highly advisable.

If you’re on medication for acid reflux or something that affects stomach acidity levels previously mentioned (prilosecmg 4eva!) these conditions could result in an unfavorable appointment with H.pylori. (Say it isn’t so!).

Also avoid beverages like alcohol, and drinks high in sugar content (this one’s a no-brainer) Avoid foods such as sausages or anything greasy – stick to fruits/veggies.

Add fiber-rich items such as oatmeal, bananas, raspberries, flaxseeds etc… to promote smooth digestion.


In conclusion, Helicobacter pylori doesn’t have to occupy an exalted place in our gut kingdoms any further; we can kick them out through antibiotics all while maintaining good hygiene habits/consumption of healthy dietary intake. Remember folks- besties belong at sleepovers and not inside your digestive system!