H. Pylori Infection with Peptic Ulcer
A peptic ulcer is an open sore in the lining of the stomach. It may also form in the lining of the first part of the small intestine (duodenum). Symptoms of a peptic ulcer include stomach pain and upset. Nausea, vomiting, bloating, or bleeding may sometimes occur. In many cases, bacteria called H. pylori are thought to be involved in the development of a peptic ulcer.
Many people have H. pylori in their bodies. Most of the time, it causes no problems. In some people, though, the H. pylori infection causes irritation of the stomach lining. This may make the lining more likely to be damaged by normal stomach acids. H. pylori may also increase the amount of acid in the stomach. It is not clear why this infection leads to problems in some people and not in others.
Tests may be done to check for H. pylori infection. These include a blood test, a breath test, and a stool test. In some cases, a test called endoscopy may be done. During this test, a thin, lighted tube is put into the mouth and down the throat. The healthcare provider can look at the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum through this tube. During this test, a tiny sample of stomach lining (biopsy) may be taken and tested for H. pylori.
Medicines are used to treat H. pylori infection. Two or more medicines are usually taken together for about 2 weeks.
Take all prescribed medicines as directed. Take all of the medicines until they are gone or you are told to stop. This is very important. If you don't finish the medicines, the infection may remain and may be harder to treat.
Ask your healthcare provider what side effects the medicines might cause. These can include stomach cramps, diarrhea, or constipation.
After the medicine is finished, you may have another test to see if H. pylori infection is still present.
Avoid alcohol during treatment.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed. Be sure to return to be retested for H. pylori after treatment.
When to seek medical advice
Call your healthcare provider for any of the following:
Call 911 if any of the following occur:
Vomiting a large amount of blood (dark or bright red)
Passing a large amount of blood (dark or bright red) in the stool
Chest pain appears, worsens, or spreads to the back, neck, shoulder, or arm
Fainting or loss of consciousness