• Helicobacter Pylori Infection

    (H. Pylori Infection)


    Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a type of bacteria that can infect the stomach and intestines. It can lead to:
    Gastric Ulcer
    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.


    This condition occurs when an infected person passes the bacteria to someone else. The bacteria are spread through:
    • Fecal-oral contact
    • Oral-oral contact

    Risk Factors

    Factors that increase your risk of H. pylori infection include being in:
    • Close contact with an infected person
    • A crowded and unsanitary living environment


    In most cases, there are not any symptoms. However, if someone develops an ulcer or gastritis, symptoms may include:
      Abdominal pain that may:
      • Awaken you from sleep
      • Change when you eat
      • Last for a few minutes or several hours
      • Feel like unusually strong hunger pangs
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Weight loss
    • Loss of appetite
    • Bloating
    • Black, tarry, or bloody stools
    • Burping
    • Vomiting blood
    • Lightheadedness


    Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
    Tests may include:
    • Blood tests
    • Stool test
    • Endoscopy—a thin, lighted tube inserted down your throat to look inside your stomach and to take tissue samples for testing
    • Urea breath test—a test that can help detect if there is a current infection


    Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Your doctor may recommend:
    • Antibiotics to treat the bacterial infection
    • H-2 blockers
    • Proton pump inhibitors
    • Antacids


    To reduce your chances of getting H. pylori infection, take these steps:
    • Wash your hands after using the bathroom and before eating or preparing food.
    • Drink water from a safe source.
    • Do not smoke. Smoking increases the chance of getting an ulcer.


    American College of Gastroenterology http://patients.gi.org

    American Gastroenterological Association http://www.gastro.org


    Canadian Association of Gastroenterology https://www.cag-acg.org

    Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca


    Helicobacter pylori. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/ulcer/files/hpfacts.PDF. Accessed May 13, 2013.

    Helicobacter pylori infection. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114484/Helicobacter-pylori-infection. Updated September 8, 2016. Accessed September 30, 2016.

    Travelers health helicobacter pylori. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2016/infectious-diseases-related-to-travel/helicobacter-pylori. Updated July 1, 2011. Accessed May 14, 2013.

    Weyermann M, Rothenbacher D, Brenner H. Acquisition of Helicobacter pylori infection in early childhood: independent contributions of infected mothers, fathers, and siblings. Am J Gastroenterol. 2009;104(1):182-189.

    9/22/2014 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114484/Helicobacter-pylori-infection: Fuccio L, Zagari RM, Eusebi LH. Meta-analysis: Can Helicobacter pylori eradication treatment reduce the risk for gastric cancer? Ann Intern Med. 2009;151(2):121-128.

    Revision Information

    • Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review BoardDaus Mahnke, MD
    • Review Date: 03/2017
    • Update Date: 09/22/2014
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