1. What is the treatment of peptic ulcer caused by Helicobacter pylori?
Treatment usually involves a combination of antibiotics and drugs to reduce the amount of stomach acid produced, such as proton pump inhibitors and histamine receptor blockers, as well as a bismuth preparation, such as Pepto-Bismol®, taken for several weeks.
No, many people have evidence of infection but have no symptoms of ulcerative disease. The reason why some people with H. pylori infections develop peptic ulcers and others do not is not yet understood.
The bacteria are believed to be transmitted by eating food or drinking water that has been contaminated with human fecal material, or possibly through contact with the stool, vomit, or saliva of an infected person. Exposure to family members with H. pylori seems to be the most likely opportunity for transmission.
5. Does everyone treated for H. pylori get better?
The majority of people who successfully complete the combination antibiotic therapy get rid of these bacteria from their GI tract. However, resistance to some of the antibiotics may occur and, therefore, the bacteria may continue to multiply in spite of appropriate therapy.
7. Why is the blood test for H. pylori antibodies not recommended?
The American Gastroenterology Association, the American College of Gastroenterologists, the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the American Society for Microbiology do not recommend the antibody blood test for routine use in diagnosing an H. pylori infection or evaluating its treatment as the test cannot distinguish between a present and previous infection. However, some health practitioners still use this test. If the blood test is negative, then it is unlikely that the person has had an H. pylori infection. If it is positive, then the presence of a current H. pylori infection should be confirmed with a stool antigen or breath test.
This article was last reviewed on November 19, 2014. | This article was last modified on December 2, 2015.
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