What is Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori)?
H. pylori is a type of bacteria that causes an infection in the lining of the stomach and upper intestine. People are usually infected with the bacteria as children, but may not have symptoms until they are adults.
What increases my risk for an H. pylori infection?
Experts do not know exactly how H. pylori spread. The following may increase your risk for an infection:
●You eat food that is not washed well or cooked properly.
●You drink water that is not clean.
●You have contact with bowel movement, vomit, or saliva that is infected with H. pylori.
What are the signs and symptoms of an H. pylori infection?
Most people who are infected with H. pylori never have symptoms. If you do, your symptoms may come and go and last for minutes or hours. You may feel better for a short time after you eat food or take medicine. You may have any of the following:
●Dull or burning pain in your stomach or throat
●Nausea, vomiting, bloating, or burping
●Loss of appetite or weight loss
●Pain at night or with an empty stomach
What are the risks of an H. pylori infection?
You may need more than one course of treatment to kill the H. pylori infection. Your symptoms may return after treatment. You are at risk for a peptic ulcer in the lining of your stomach and intestines if you do not receive treatment for your infection. H. pylori may also cause swelling in your stomach. The infection may lead to stomach cancer and lymphoma (cancer of the lymph nodes) if it is not treated.