Frequently Asked Questions
1. What causes stomach ulcers?
For decades, doctors believed ulcers were caused by excess stomach acid. In the early 1990's conclusive evidence identified Helicobacter pylori bacterium as causing almost all cases of duodenal ulcers. There are, however, some gastric ulcers caused by nonsteriodial anti-inflammatory drug use.
2. What is Helicobacter pylori?
Helicobacter pylori is a spiral shaped bacterium that lives in the lining of the stomach. It may lead to inflammation of the inner lining of the stomach or duodenum and gastric ulcers.
3. What is the current recommended treatment for stomach ulcers?
Combination drug therapy is used to treat H. pylori. Various permutations of antibiotic treatments to prevent acid secretion are recommended by physicians. Ask your doctor for more information.
4. Has Helicobacter pylori bacteria been implicated in any other diseases?
Helicobacter pylori bacterium is considered as a Class 1 carcinogen and significantly enhances the risk of developing stomach cancer and lymphomas.
5. How is Helicobacter pylori transmitted?
Although not yet conclusively established, oral transmission is suspected.
6. How will I know if I have H. pylori?
Most infected individuals show no symptoms. It is only with the development of an ulcer that symptoms will appear, and it is at this point that the bacterium becomes problematic. Commonly felt symptoms include abdominal pain, indigestion, heartburn, and stomach cramps. In very severe cases, such as when an ulcer begins to bleed, symptoms of nausea and vomiting are felt in addition to the presence of blood in the bowel movements.
7. What are the different tests available?
- Breath Test
- Stool Antigen Test
- Blood Test
- Biopsy (small sample) of the lining of the stomach
8. What are the advantages of the 13C UBT vs. other common testing methods?
- Safe and simple to administer
- Highly accurate for detection infection and for confirmation of cure after eradication therapy
The H-Pylori Foundation - http://www.helico.com/
The Mayo Clinic - http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/h-pylori/DS00958
Medicine Net - http://www.medicinenet.com/helicobacter_pylori/article.htm