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How to cure h pylori naturally

  • Medical Author: Divya Jacob, Pharm. D.
  • Medical Reviewer: Pallavi Suyog Uttekar, MD

What are H. pylori symptoms?

Helicobacter pylori or H. pylori infection occurs when H. pylori bacteria infects the lining of the stomach. H. pylori are responsible for 80% of gastric ulcers and 90% of duodenal ulcers. H. pylori infection can continue throughout life without any symptoms. If H. pylori infection persists, it can cause:

  • Longstanding redness and swelling in the inner lining of the stomach
  • Tissue damage
  • Peptic ulcers
  • Gastric cancer
  • Burning sensation in the abdomen
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Bloating
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Bloating
  • Frequent burping

Natural treatments

Natural remedies have been effective in inhibiting the growth of H. pylori; however, they cannot completely eradicate the presence of H. pylori. Before trying out natural remedies, it is better to consult your doctor for their appropriateness. Natural remedies shouldn’t replace medical therapy and should be tried as alternative therapy only. Some of the natural remedies to treat H. pylori infection include:

  • Green tea: It has proven to be effective in inhibiting the growth of H. pylori. Catechins present in the green tea are antioxidants that have antibacterial properties. Green tea consumed regularly prevents the inflammation of the stomach. Green tea, when consumed during infection, helps in reducing the severity of gastritis as well as the bacterial load.
  • Garlic: Garlic, Allium sativum, has therapeutic properties that may help treat H. pylori infection. These effects are attributable to specific oil- and water-soluble organosulfur compounds such as thiosulfinates. H. pylori-related disease has an inverse relationship between garlic consumption and the incidence of gastric cancer.
  • Red wine: Resveratrol present in red wine has been linked with some antibacterial activity. It leads to inhibition of the growth of H. pylori. Consuming red wine has been associated with limiting the damage of the stomach’s lining. Overall, red wine has exhibited a protective effect against H. pylori infection.
  • Olive oil: Virgin olive oil or unrefined olive oil has a considerable amount of phenolic compounds. Phenolic compounds can remain stable for hours in the gastric juices. These compounds also show strong antibacterial properties against eight strains of H. pylori bacteria, three of which are resistant to some antibiotics.
  • Probiotics:Probiotics are live microorganisms when administered in a sufficient amount, that can produce an array of health benefits in the consumer. It maintains a balance between good bacteria and harmful bacteria. Probiotics may help in the complete eradication of H. pylori bacteria. Besides, they may also improve the H. pylori gastritis as well as a reduction in bacterial load. As antibiotics destroy the good bacteria, the consumption of probiotics may replenish this loss. Long-term consumption of probiotics may be useful in reducing the complications of H. pylori infection.
  • Honey: Honey has been associated with antibacterial activity against H. pylori and few other bacteria. The antibacterial properties of honey can be attributed to:
    • The osmotic effect due to its sugar content
    • Hydrogen peroxide content
    • Acidity
    • Other substances derived from the flower

Most of the strains of H. pylori were destroyed using 20% strength of the honey. Honey isn’t a substitute for the standard therapy and shouldn’t be taken alone. Raw honey and Manuka honey may have the most antibacterial properties.

  • Broccoli sprouts: Broccoli sprouts are rich in a compound known as isothiocyanate sulforaphane (SF). SF has strong antibacterial effects on H. pylori bacteria and also reduces gastric inflammation. Studies have shown that broccoli sprouts reduce the H. pylori load; however, it doesn’t completely eradicate them. It also reduces cardiovascular risk factors.
  • Licorice root: Licorice roots have been effective in killing H. pylori bacteria. They also prevent adhesion of H. pylori to the stomach cell walls.
  • Phototherapy: H. pylori contain a substance that makes it susceptible to inactivation by light. Phototherapy has shown a significant reduction in bacterial count in the stomach. Its use is safe in the stomach.

Also, some studies have shown that white vinegar and cranberry juice may be useful in reducing H. pylori infection. But these aren’t a substitute for the standard treatment regimen.

The standard treatment of H. pylori infection includes a combination of antibiotics and acid-reducing medications. Acid-reducing medications include:

  • Proton pump inhibitors
  • Histamine blockers
  • Bismuth subsalicylate

Food that stimulates the secretion of gastric acid (such as coffee, black tea and soft drinks) and food that irritates the stomach lining (like pepper, and processed, fatty meats, such as bacon and sausage) should be avoided when treating an H. Pylori infection.

H. pylori is a bacterium which lodges in the stomach lining and usually causes gastritis, but, in some cases, this infection can also lead to other problems such as stomach cancer, ulcers, vitamin B12 deficiency, anemia, diabetes and a fatty liver. When its presence is confirmed, treatment as prescribed by your doctor is recommended.

There are foods that can compliment the recommended treatment. These foods include

1. Probiotics

Probiotics are present in foods such as yogurt and kefir, and can also be taken as supplements, in powder or capsule form. Probiotics are formed by good bacteria that live in the intestine and stimulate the production of flora that fight this bacteria and decrease the side effects that appear during the treatment of the disease, such as diarrhea, constipation and poor digestion.

2. Omega-3 and omega-6

Omega-3 and omega-6 help to reduce stomach inflammation and prevent the growth of H. pylori, helping to treat the disease. These good fats can be found in foods like fish oil, olive oil, carrot seeds and grapefruit seed oil.

3. Fruits and vegetables

Non-acidic fruits and boiled vegetables should be eaten during the treatment of H. pylori because they are easily digested and help to improve bowel function. Certain fruits like raspberries, strawberries, blackberries and blueberries help to fight the growth of this bacteria, and therefore moderate intake can be considered.

4. Broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage

These 3 vegetables, especially broccoli, contain substances called isothiocyanates which can help prevent cancer and fight H. pylori,. They help to reduce the spread of this bacteria in the intestine. These vegetables are easy to digest and help reduce gastric pain that can arise during treatment. 70g of broccoli a day (about 1/3 of a cup) is recommended for the best results.

5. White meats and fish

Protein that has lower fat content, like white meats and fish, help with digestion and prevent food from staying too long in the stomach (which can cause pain and a feeling of being full during treatment). The best way to prepare these proteins is by boiling them with salt and a bay leaf to add flavor without stimulating acid production in the stomach. If grilling the meat or fish, use olive oil or 1 tablespoon of water. Roasting meat, without oil, in the oven is also possible, but fried chicken and fish aren’t advisable.

How to relieve the treatment’s more unpleasant symptoms

Treatment for H. pylori usually lasts about 7 days and involves the use of medication, specifically proton pump inhibitors (e.g. omeprazole and pantoprazole) and antibiotics (e.g. amoxicillin and clarithromycin). These are taken twice a day. Learn more about the most common symptoms of H. Pylori and how it is treated.

Common side effects of H. Pylori medication are:

1. Metallic taste in the mouth

This can happen early on in the treatment, and can worsen over time. To help treat this problem, you can add vinegar to your salads and sprinkle baking soda and salt on your toothpaste before brushing your teeth. This will help both neutralize the acids in the mouth and produce more saliva, which can get rid of the metallic taste.

2. Nausea and stomach pain

Nausea and stomach pain usually appear from the second day of treatment onwards. To prevent these symptoms from happening, it is important to drink plenty of water, rest, and eat easily digestible foods such as yogurt, white cheeses, and crackers.

Drinking ginger tea shortly after waking up and eating 1 slice of toast or 3 crackers, as well as avoiding large amounts of fluids in one sitting, are good ways of relieving morning sickness.

3. Diarrhea

Diarrhea usually appears after the third day of treatment, because antibiotics, in addition to eliminating H. pylori, also end up reducing the naturally-occurring intestinal flora, causing diarrhea.

Eating 1 plain yogurt a day and easily digestible foods such as soups, purees, white rice, fish and white meats is a good way to stop diarrhea and restore the intestinal flora.

What to avoid eating during treatment

During treatment it is important to avoid eating foods that can irritate the stomach or that may stimulate the secretion of gastric juice, as well as foods that worsen side effects. It is important to avoid eating the following:

  • Coffee, chocolate and black tea, because they contain caffeine, a substance that stimulates stomach movement and gastric juice secretion, causing more irritation;
  • Soft drinks and fizzy drinks, as they distend the stomach and can cause pain and acid reflux;
  • Alcoholic beverages, because they increase stomach inflammation;
  • Sour fruits like lemon, orange and pineapple, as they can cause stomach pain and heartburn;
  • Pepper and spicy foods such as garlic, mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise, Worcester sauce, soy sauce, garlic sauce and stock cubes;
  • Fatty meats, fried foods and yellow cheeses, because they are rich in fat, which makes digestion difficult and increase the time that food stays in the stomach;
  • Processed meats and canned foods, as they contain a lot of preservatives and chemical additives that can irritate the stomach and intestine, increasing inflammation.

Therefore, drinking more water and eating white cheeses and fresh fruits that can help to reduce stomach inflammation and regulate intestinal transit is recommended.

3-day diet plan

The table below has an example of a 3-day menu to be followed during treatment:

1 plain yogurt + 1 slice of bread with white cheese and an egg.

Strawberry smoothie made with skim milk and oats.

1 glass of milk + 1 scrambled egg with white cheese.

2 slices of papaya + 1 teaspoon of chia seeds.

1 banana + 7 cashew nuts.

1 glass of green juice + 3 crackers.

4 tablespoons of rice + 2 tablespoons of beans + chicken with tomato sauce + cabbage salad.

Mashed potato + 1/2 piece of salmon + salad with steamed broccoli.

Vegetable soup made with cauliflower, potatoes, carrots, zucchini and chicken.

1 glass of skimmed milk + cereal.

1 plain yogurt + bread with red fruit jam.

Chicken sandwich with ricotta cream.

After treatment, it is important to always thoroughly clean fruits and vegetables before eating because H. pylori may be present in raw vegetables and infect the stomach again.

If you’ve ever had a bacterial infection, your doctor will most likely have given antibiotic treatments and a proton pump inhibitor (PPI).

The trouble is, antibiotics are not as effective as they used to be. Leading many people to search for a better solution.

It’s not just antibiotics: PPIs come with their own risks. In two recent studies, acid reflux drugs were found to more than double the risk of gastric cancer and liver disease.

Such side effects are easily avoided if you can get rid of H. pylori naturally.

Maybe the idea of the typical triple therapy (two antibiotics plus acid reducers) does not sit well with you – if so, you’re not alone.

Helicobacter Pylori: What Is It, and Why Is It Bad?

Helicobacter Pylori is a common bacterial infection. So common, in fact, experts say that 50% of the population of the world might have H Pylori .

In most cases, the presence of H. Pylori goes undetected. Many people are infected in childhood. Plus, higher rates are found among those living in poverty or in crowded environments.

H. Pylori are believed to have lived with humans for thousands of years. So what’s the problem? you might ask.

Studies show that H. Pylori increases your risk of developing gastric cancer by up to six times.

Data also suggest a link between H. Pylori and gastric ulcers and peptic ulcers, as well as stomach problems like bloating and nausea.

These risks mean that doctors waste no time in offering antibiotics and PPIs for people with an overgrowth of H. Pylori.

There are many products on the market today, such as activated charcoal for h pylori, but the following are among the most well-researched food-based treatments against bacterial infections like H. Pylori, with studies dating back to the 1990s.

7 Best Natural Treatments for H. pylori Infections

1. Mastic Gum (Resin From the Pistachio Tree)

Mastic gum is the most researched natural treatment for H. Pylori. Mastic gum’s ability to kill H. Pylori was first reported in 1998.

The gum contains many antimicrobial agents in its essential oils. Such as a-terpineol and (E)-methyl isoeugenol.

2. Broccoli Sprouts

Broccoli sprouts contain sulforaphane, a compound known to wipe out H. Pylori.

An antioxidant and detoxifier, sulforaphane killed the bug in 78% of people eating broccoli sprouts twice a day for a week.

(Incidentally, you’ll find a generous helping of broccoli sprouts in our green superfood supplement pHresh Greens!)

3. Matula Herbal Tea

Matula tea contains five wild (non-GMO) herbs: oleaceae, asteraceae, alliaceae, fabaceae and myrtaceae, some of which are antibacterial.

The tea also protects the stomach lining by reducing gastric juices.

Matula tea is extremely well-reviewed, and the company that makes a promise to refund you the cost if it does not destroy the infection in 30 days.

Just drink two cups per day and retest for H. Pylori 30-45 days after your last cuppa. Matula tea should be taken with probiotics.

4. Probiotics

If a person takes antibiotic treatments for H. Pylori, probiotics can balance out the gut microbes.

Probiotics build up the good bacteria that are wiped out by antibiotics, helping to restore balance. They also prevent the negative effects of drugs on the gut.

Thirty-three clinical trials looking at the effect of probiotics on H. Pylori, found that it was wiped out faster among those taking probiotics compared to control groups.

At present Progurt is the strongest probiotic on the market. Each sachet gives one trillion “good” bacteria – including L. acidophilus. Its super strength means fast action, so you don’t have to take it every day.

One sachet every few days – or even once a week – will balance your gut flora.

5. Manuka Honey

Manuka honey is one of the most useful natural products for killing H. Pylori. The best kind to use is Active Manuka, with a Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) rating of at least 10+.

While there’s evidence to show that medical-grade Manuka can inhibit H. Pylori, no human trials have found it capable of completely wiping it out if used as a single therapy.

It’s perhaps best used with another treatment i.e. mastic gum and broccoli sprouts.

6. N-acetyl Cysteine (NAC)

Rather than targeting H. Pylori, NAC attacks the protective biofilm that H. Pylori live in.

Several studies show that NAC boosts the activity of PPIs and antibiotics, by reducing biofilm thickness.

It is no stretch to imagine it also has efficacy when paired with alternative treatments. A typical recommended dose is 600mg two or three times per day.

7. Black Seed (Nigella Sativa)

Black seed with high thymoquinone content has been well-studied for Helicobacter Pylori because of its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.

Fourteen people who had H. Pylori growth were studied in 2016. They were given black seed and honey (known as “Dosin”).

One month later, eight had rid themselves of the infection.

More Advice on Natural Treatments for H. Pylori

Helicobacter loves to eat sugar, refined and processed foods (including processed oils which are pro-inflammatory), gluten, dairy and soy. As such, avoiding these foods will have an effect against H. Pylori.

Perhaps cut down or stop drinking coffee (which thins the gut lining) and alcohol. You can also use digestive enzymes alongside your treatment.

As noted by Dr. Josh Axe, drinking polluted water is one of the main ways you can contract H. Pylori. So you might want to consider installing a water filter that gets rid of heavy metals (like lead, copper), chemicals (chlorine, fluoride), bacteria and pesticides.

The role of probiotics in the treatment of gastrointestinal infections is increasingly being documented as an alternative or complement to antibiotics, with the potential to decrease the use of antibiotics or reduce their side effects. Although antibiotics-based Helicobacter pylori eradication treatment is 90% effective, it is expensive and causes antibiotic resistance associated with other adverse effects. Probiotics have an in vitro inhibitory effect on H. pylori. Animal studies demonstrated that probiotic treatment is effective in reducing H. pylori-associated gastric inflammation. About 12 human studies investigated the efficacy of combinations of antibiotics and probiotics, whereas 16 studies used probiotic alone as an alternative to antibiotics for the treatment of H. pylori infection. Most of the studies showed an improvement of H. pylori gastritis and decrease in H. pylori colonization after administration of probiotics. However, no study could demonstrate complete eradication of H. pylori infection by probiotic treatment. Probiotic combinations can reduce adverse effects induced by H. pylori eradication treatment and, thus, have beneficial effects in H. pylori-infected individuals. Long-term intakes of products containing probiotic strains may have a favorable effect on H. pylori infection in humans, particularly by reducing the risk of developing disorders associated with high degrees of gastric inflammation.

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An ulcer is an opening in the lining of the stomach or in the duodenum (the first part of the small intestine). Ulcers cause a gnawing or burning pain in the stomach. However, most people who have stomach pain do not have an ulcer. Your doctor can do tests to decide if your stomach pain is caused by an ulcer.

Are ulcers serious?

Most people with ulcers just have stomach pain. Some people do not have any symptoms at all. But, ulcers may cause other health problems. Sometimes they bleed. If ulcers become too deep, they can break through the stomach wall. Ulcers also can block food from going through the intestines.

What causes ulcers?

Some people think ulcers are caused by stress or by eating food with too much acid in it, but this is not true. Most stomach ulcers are caused by infection with a bacteria called Helicobacter pylori (say: “hell-ee-ko-back-ter pie-lore-ee”), or H. pylori for short. Ulcers in people who do not have an H. pylori infection are usually related to heavy aspirin use, or heavy use of anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (some brand names: Advil, Nuprin, Motrin). Acetaminophen (brand name: Tylenol) does not cause stomach ulcers.

How does my doctor know if I have H. pylori infection?

H. pylori infection can be diagnosed with a blood test. Your doctor might want you to get an x-ray or have an endoscopy (a thin tube with a tiny camera inside it that is passed down your throat and into your stomach) to see if you have an ulcer. A breath test is another way to find out if you have H. pylori infection.

How are ulcers treated?

Three kinds of medicines can be used to treat ulcers. All of them do a good job of healing ulcers. Your doctor can tell you which one is right for you. You should take the medicine just as your doctor tells you to.

The first kind of medicine reduces the amount of acid your stomach makes. This medicine can heal an ulcer in the duodenum in six to eight weeks. Ulcers in the stomach take a little longer to heal. You take these medicines for eight to 12 weeks if you have a stomach ulcer.

A second kind of medicine blocks the stomach’s ability to make acid. This medicine helps heal an ulcer in the duodenum in four weeks. It helps heal stomach ulcers in six to eight weeks.

A third kind of medicine coats the ulcer. It protects the sore place from stomach acid, so it can heal. This kind of medicine takes eight to 12 weeks to heal an ulcer.

What if I have an ulcer and H. pylori infection?

The medicines described earlier heal ulcers whether you have H. pylori infection or not. But, if you have H. pylori infection too, your doctor also will treat the infection. H. pylori is hard to get rid of. No single medicine can cure this infection. The best way to cure H. pylori infection is to take several medicines at the same time.

To treat an H. pylori infection, your doctor will prescribe several medicines: one or two antibiotics plus bismuth (bismuth is commonly called Pepto-Bismol) or a medicine to block stomach acid production. This means taking a large number of pills every day. Some combinations that use fewer drugs also might help. Tritec is a pill that combines bismuth and a drug to reduce acid in the stomach. It is used with an antibiotic. Helidac is another medicine that combines bismuth and two antibiotics. Your doctor will tell you which medicines you should take.

Do the medicines cause side effects?

Because you have to take so many medicines at the same time, you may have some side effects. Minor side effects of H. pylori medicines include a black color on your tongue, black stools, diarrhea, nausea, and headaches. Some of the medicines leave a bad taste in your mouth. These side effects are usually minor and go away on their own.

You can cure H. pylori infection only if you take the medicines just the way your doctor tells you. If you forget to take some of your medicines or stop taking them because of side effects, the infection will not be cured. You may get another ulcer in the future. Let your doctor know right away if you have side effects with your medicines or if you have any questions about how to take them. Your doctor may suggest something to make the side effects better, or may give you different medicines.

What else can I do?

If certain foods bother you, do not eat them. You may heal faster if you do not smoke or use aspirin or ibuprofen. Acetaminophen will not hurt your stomach.

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Helicobacter pylori is a spiral-shaped gram-negative rod that colonizes the gastric mucosa. H. pylori is mostly acquired in childhood before age 10 years, with more than 50% of people worldwide carrying the organism.

Ashley Franco Kati Shihadeh

It is the main risk factor for peptic ulcer disease (PUD), gastric ulcers, adenocarcinoma and gastric mucosa-associated lymphoid tumor (MALT). Although most infected individuals are asymptomatic, about 10% to 15% of patients with H. pylori develop PUD during their lifetime and 1% develop gastric cancer over 20 to 40 years. Diagnosis of H. pylori infection is crucial, because treatment can greatly reduce morbidity and mortality. The 2013 American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) recommendation of triple therapy with clarithromycin, metronidazole and a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) as the first-line treatment option has fallen out of favor because growing resistance to this standard therapy has made eradication of H. pylori a challenge.

Diagnosis

In prior literature, indications for H. pylori testing included clinical manifestations of H. pylori infection, such as a history or active PUD or MALT lymphoma. Current literature now suggests testing patients who have conditions outside of gastrointestinal symptoms, such as patients with iron deficiency anemia and idiopathic thrombocytopenia. Testing for confirmatory H. pylori infection includes stool antigen test (SAT), urea breath test (UBT) and serology testing. False-negative results can occur with UBT and SAT, so it is important to discontinue PPIs at least 2 weeks before testing.

Antibiotic resistance

In 2017, WHO classified clarithromycin-resistant H. pylori as a high-priority pathogen. Strains of H. pylori that previously responded to triple therapy with greater than 90% rate of eradication have now become refractory to this standard treatment. Diminishing success of this therapy is due to growing clarithromycin and metronidazole resistance, which occurs in up to 50% of cases. Mechanisms of drug resistance in H. pylori infection include drug efflux pumps or the acquisition of point mutation. Overexpression of hefA pumps have been cited as a mechanism of resistance to metronidazole, whereas point mutations in peni­cillin-binding proteins and rdxA and gyrA genes represent the primary target of drug resistance in H. pylori. Eradication of H. pylori infection now relies heavily on local antibiotic resistance patterns and patients’ prior antibiotic exposure. Given the burden of disease that H. pylori can cause, diligent antibiotic stewardship is needed to prevent further eradication failure.

Treatment

Any patient with a positive H. pylori test should be treated for an active infection, with the goal to provide succinct treatment with greater than 90% eradication. Given the high resistance rates, the ACG now recommends multiple first-line treatment options with clinical considerations for each treatment regimen (Table 1). Proper treatment includes identifying a patient’s prior antibiotic exposure, reviewing local resistance patterns and analyzing rates of H. pylori eradication with various treatment options.

Given that the eradication rate is so low with the traditional therapy of clarithromycin triple, guidelines recommend choosing this regimen only for patients without prior macrolide exposure and in areas where resistance of clarithromycin is less than 15%. Bismuth quadruple therapy provides similar efficacy as clarithromycin triple therapy, with recommendations to use quadruple therapy where resistance rates are high, patients have prior macrolide exposure and for refractory H. pylori treatment. Non-bismuth quadruple therapy represents another first-line treatment option for patients with H. pylori infection, and it can also be used as salvage therapy in patients with persistent H. pylori infection.

The ACG recommends sequential, hybrid and levofloxacin-containing regimens as alternatives in patients with refractory H. pylori (Table 2). Literature supporting these recommendations in current guidelines find no difference in efficacy compared with clarithromycin-based therapy but suggest these complex regimens offer alternatives in patients refractory to other options. Upon failure of second-line treatment regimens, levofloxacin-containing therapies avoid the use of clarithromycin and are often the regimen selected in salvage therapy. Additionally, guidelines recommend culture and susceptibility testing after two failures of eradication; however, this susceptibility testing is not widely available. Other medication regimens such as high-dose amoxicillin plus a PPI or rifabutin-based treatment options provide salvage options when rates of clarithromycin or fluoroquinolone resistance are high.

The inability to eradicate H. pylori due to rising antibiotic resistance presents health challenges worldwide. Once a modifiable risk factor for the development of gastric cancer or the cause of PUD, H. pylori has now become a globally prevalent, high-risk pathogen. To successfully treat these patients, a multifactorial approach must consider local resistance and optimization of medication regimens that provide ease of adherence.

Treatment for your stomach ulcer will depend on what caused it. With treatment, most ulcers heal in a few months.

If your stomach ulcer is caused by a Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacterial infection, a course of antibiotics and a medication called a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) is recommended.

This is also recommended if it’s thought your stomach ulcer is caused by a combination of an H. pylori infection and taking non-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs).

If your stomach ulcer is just caused by taking NSAIDs, a course of PPI medication is recommended.

An alternative type of medication, known as H2-receptor antagonists, is occasionally used instead of PPIs.

Sometimes you may be given additional medication called antacids to relieve your symptoms in the short term.

You may have a repeat gastroscopy after 4 to 6 weeks to check that the ulcer has healed.

There aren’t any special lifestyle measures you need to take during treatment, but avoiding stress, alcohol, spicy foods and smoking may reduce your symptoms while your ulcer heals.

Antibiotics

If you have an H. pylori infection, you’ll usually be prescribed a course of 2 antibiotics, which each need to be taken twice a day for a week.

The antibiotics most commonly used are amoxicillin, clarithromycin and metronidazole.

The side effects of these antibiotics are usually mild and can include:

  • feeling and being sick
  • diarrhoea
  • a metallic taste in your mouth

You’ll be tested at least 4 weeks after finishing your antibiotic course to see if there are any H. pylori bacteria left in your stomach. If there are, you may need a course of different antibiotics.

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs)

PPIs work by reducing the amount of acid your stomach produces, preventing further damage to the ulcer as it heals naturally. They’re usually prescribed for 4 to 8 weeks.

Omeprazole, pantoprazole and lansoprazole are the PPIs most commonly used to treat stomach ulcers.

Side effects of these are usually mild, but can include:

  • headaches
  • diarrhoea or constipation
  • feeling sick
  • stomach ache
  • dizziness
  • rashes

These should pass once treatment has been completed.

H2-receptor antagonists

Like PPIs, H2-receptor antagonists work by reducing the amount of acid your stomach produces.

Ranitidine is the most widely used H2-receptor antagonist for treating stomach ulcers.

Side effects are uncommon, but may include:

  • diarrhoea
  • headaches
  • dizziness
  • rashes
  • tiredness

Antacids and alginates

Treatments can take several hours before they start to work, so your GP may recommend taking additional antacid medication to neutralise your stomach acid quickly and relieve symptoms in the short term.

Some antacids also contain a medicine called an alginate, which produces a protective coating on the lining of your stomach.

These medications are available to buy over the counter at pharmacies. Your pharmacist can advise on which is most suitable for you.

Antacids should be taken when you experience symptoms or when you expect them, such as after meals or at bedtime.

Antacids containing alginates are best taken after meals.

Side effects of both medications are usually minor and can include:

  • diarrhoea or constipation
  • farting (flatulence)
  • stomach cramps
  • feeling and being sick

Advice on taking NSAIDs

If your stomach ulcer has been caused by taking NSAIDs, your GP will want to review your use of them.

You may be advised to use an alternative painkiller not associated with stomach ulcers, such as paracetamol.

Sometimes an alternative type of NSAID that’s less likely to cause stomach ulcers, called a COX-2 inhibitor, may be recommended.

If you’re taking low-dose aspirin (an NSAID) to reduce your risk of embolism (blood clots), your GP will tell you whether you need to continue taking it.

If you do need to keep taking it, long-term treatment with a PPI or H2-receptor antagonist may be prescribed alongside the aspirin to try to prevent further ulcers.

It’s important to understand the potential risks associated with continued NSAID use.

You’re more likely to develop another stomach ulcer and could experience a serious complication, such as internal bleeding.

Page last reviewed: 14 January 2022
Next review due: 14 January 2025

There’s a reason why they say Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori, HP) infections are the most common gut infections in the world. Even in developed countries, H. pylori prevalence runs between 30% and 50%.

H. pylori is a bacterium that infects the stomach lining. If left untreated, an H. pylori stomach infection can have serious consequences. Both duodenal ulcers and peptic ulcer diseases can form as well as superficial gastritis and even gastric cancer.

Fortunately, you can choose herbal treatment for H. pylori bacteria, such as Ayurveda. You’ll use powerful herbs and eat a specific diet to decrease the amount of H. pylori bacteria in your system. Continue reading to learn more about Ayurveda and how it decreases H. pylori bacteria.

More Information About H. Pylori Bacteria

H. pylori bacteria is one of the most common gut infections in the world and affects both developing and developed countries.

It’s highly contagious; most individuals get an HP infection from eating contaminated food, specifically when sharing food. If their saliva contains particles of the bacteria, the other user will get the infection. However, the bacteria is still largely understood and we’re not fully sure how you catch it.

The user doesn’t experience many symptoms aside from inflamed and tender intestines, a chronic and burning pain in the stomach, bloating, and decreased appetite.

If left untreated, an HP infection can cause serious harm and can even turn fatal. We mentioned the bacteria is responsible for most stomach ulcers and even cancer. But an HP infection can also cause poor secretion of stomach acids and your digestion abilities will diminish.

Fortunately, HP infections are easily treatable, but some speculate the infection lasts for life. The bacteria can resurface or come back, so it’s important users receive regular treatments to kill off the bacteria in your stomach.

A natural treatment such as Ayurveda can decrease the number of bacteria in your system while improving your digestion and overall health.

The bacteria was discovered in 1982 by two Australian doctors, Barry Marshall and Robin Warren. They also discovered this bacteria is responsible for 80% of stomach ulcers. This discovery earned them a Nobel Prize in 2005.

How an HP Infection Develops

H. pylori is a powerful bacterium. It can survive the harsh environment of your stomach and will wreak havoc on your stomach in order to survive and colonise.

In order to protect itself, the bacterium burrows into your mucosa. It releases chemicals that degrade the mucus gel structure, liquefying the stomach’s protective mucus layer. This exposes your gastric tissue to caustic acids, which can lead to ulcers, gastritis, DNA damage, and even cancer.

It also produces an enzyme called urease into its outer membrane. This enzyme breaks down urea — this is bad because urea is needed for digestion. This is why an H. pylori infection also causes loss of stomach function.

When to See a Professional

You should see a professional the minute you suspect you have an H. pylori infection. While not everyone will experience symptoms, here are common H. pylori infection symptoms that people report:

  • Pain or a burning sensation in the abdomen
  • Nausea
  • Bloating
  • Loss of appetite
  • Reflux

Unfortunately, many people are misdiagnosed because HP infection symptoms can signal a variety of different conditions. The only way to know if you have an HP infection is to get a specific test.

Natural H. Pylori Infection Treatment

What if you discover you have an HP infection? If you want to choose a natural option, there are many ways Ayurveda can decrease the bacteria in your stomach and improve your health. Natural treatments are also beneficial because H. pylori bacteria is resistant to bacteria.

One of the most common Ayurvedic treatments in panchakarma. This treatment involves five treatments that cleanse and detox the body. Vasti is especially an effective method; medicated liquids are expelled through the anus to remove toxins in the body.

Ayurveda uses a variety of healing herbs. An example is amalaka. This herb contains large amounts of vitamin C.

This study shows that large amounts of vitamin C intake eradicated the bacteria in 30% of test subjects. However, the link between vitamin C and HP infections is unknown.

Antimicrobials also prevent the growth of the bacteria. In Ayurveda, common antimicrobials used are cinnamon (Twak), ginger (Shunti), oregano, garlic, and turmeric (Haridra). Anti-inflammatory substances are also used to protect your stomach, such as turmeric, barberry, cinnamon, and fresh ginger.

Ginger is especially a protective substance; fresh ginger regenerates the protective mucus layer that the bacteria destroys, protecting you from ulcers and other issues.

Lifestyle is also a major part of Ayurvedic treatment. Certain lifestyle decisions, such as drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes, can irritate your stomach. Your Ayurvedic professional will coach you on healthy lifestyle habits. Common examples include avoiding cigarettes and alcohol, reducing stress, and avoiding spicy food as well as sweets.

Keep in mind, you risk the bacteria returning when you stop your treatments. Always follow your Ayurvedic professional’s advice and never try to eradicate the bacteria on your own.

Even though the HP bacteria is resistant to bacteria, you should always discuss different treatment options with your doctor first.

Herbal Treatment for H. Pylori Bacteria

We mentioned a few of the herbs used in Ayurvedic HP treatment, but here are more and their purpose:

  • Amalaki — antioxidant and anti-inflammatory
  • Neem — anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial
  • Shatavari — anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial
  • Cinnamon (Twak) — anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and digestive aid
  • Vidanga — antimicrobrial
  • Licorice root (Yashtimadhu) — soothes stomach
  • Green tea — reduces HP bacteria adherence to the stomach lining
  • Avipattikar Churna — antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and treats digestive problems
  • Aloe vera (Kumari) — soothes stomach ulcers
  • Indian gooseberry (Amla) — antioxidant, antimicrobial, contains polyphenols that fight against cancer cells
  • Musta — promotes healthy digestion
  • Fennel — aids digestive problems as well as HP infection symptoms such as bloating and loss of appetite

Keep in mind, this isn’t the full list of herbs used in Ayurvedic HP treatment. Your treatment may be modified, depending on many factors.

Treat Your H. Pylori Infection Naturally

An H. pylori bacterial infection is painful and can be dangerous if left untreated. Fortunately, herbal treatment for H. pylori bacteria is a safe and effective option. Ayurveda can decrease the number of bacteria in your stomach as well as improve your stomach and digestive health.

What Are Helicobacter pylori?

Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) are a type of bacteria. These germs are a common cause of digestive illnesses, including:

  • gastritis: the irritation and inflammation of the stomach lining
  • peptic ulcers (often called stomach ulcers): sores in the lining of the stomach, small intestine, or esophagus
  • later in life, stomach cancer

Kids can get stomachaches for many reasons, like indigestion, viruses, stress and worry, and appendicitis. Most stomachaches are not caused by Helicobacter pylori (HEL-ih-ko-bak-tur pie-LOR-eye) bacteria.

What Are the Signs & Symptoms of H. pylori Infections?

Many people who get an H. pylori infection don’t realize it. Often, these infections don’t cause symptoms.

When the bacteria do cause symptoms, they’re usually either symptoms of gastritis or peptic ulcer disease.

In kids, symptoms of gastritis (ga-STRYE-tis) may include:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • belly pain
  • bloating

In older kids and adults, the most common symptom of peptic ulcers is a lasting or burning belly pain, usually in the area below the ribs and above the navel. This pain often gets worse on an empty stomach and gets better as soon as the person eats food, drinks milk, or takes antacid medicine.

Peptic ulcers that bleed can cause:

  • hematemesis (hee-muh-TEM-uh-sis): bloody vomit or vomit that looks like coffee grounds
  • melena (muh-LEE-nuh): stool (poop) that’s black, bloody, or looks like tar

How Do People Get H. pylori Infections?

People can swallow H. pylori bacteria from contaminated food, water, or eating utensils. Infections are most common in crowded areas and those without clean water or good sewage systems. People also can pass the bacteria through their saliva (spit) and other body fluids.

How Are H. pylori Infections Diagnosed?

The problems that H. pylori infections cause can happen in many illnesses. To find out if someone has an H. pylori infection, doctors can do different types of tests.

  • Look at the stomach lining. The patient is sedated before this procedure. Then, the doctor inserts an endoscope — a small, flexible tube with a tiny camera on the end — down the throat and into the stomach and duodenum (first part of the small intestine). The doctor might take samples of the lining (a biopsy) to check for signs of infection and H. pylori bacteria.
  • Do blood tests to look for H. pylori antibodies. Antibodies are proteins the immune system makes to get rid of a germ. Usually, they stay in our bodies in case we have to fight the same germ again. A positive test may show a past exposure to H. pylori, but not an active infection.
  • Do breath tests, which can spot carbon broken down by H. pylori after the patient drinks a solution. Breath tests take time, don’t show how severe an infection is, and can be hard to do in young children.
  • Do stool tests, which can find H. pylori proteins in the stool (poop). As with breath testing, stool tests can’t show how severe the infection is.

How Are H. pylori Infections Treated?

Doctors use antibiotics to treat H. pylori infections. A single antibiotic may not kill the bacteria, so doctors often prescribe a combination of antibiotics. To ease problems from stomach acids, doctors usually also give antacids or acid-suppressing drugs.

Antibiotic treatment cures many cases of gastritis and peptic ulcer disease caused by H. pylori, especially ulcers in the duodenum.

A child who has symptoms of bleeding from the stomach or small intestine will be treated in a hospital.

How Can Parents Help?

H. pylori infection can be cured with antibiotics. So the most important thing parents can do is to give their child the antibiotic medicine as directed for as long as the doctor prescribed.

To help soothe belly pain, follow a regular meal schedule. Plan meals so that your child’s stomach isn’t empty for long periods. Eating 5 or 6 smaller meals each day may be best, and your child should take some time to rest after each meal.

Don’t give your child aspirin, aspirin-containing medicines, ibuprofen, or anti-inflammatory drugs. These may irritate the stomach or cause stomach bleeding.

Can H. pylori Infections Be Prevented?

There’s no vaccine against H. pylori. But taking these steps can protect your family from many illnesses and help lower their risk of an H. pylori infection:

  • Wash hands well and often, especially after using the bathroom and before making or eating food.
  • Avoid food if you’re not sure that it was prepared safely.
  • Drink water from a safe source.

When Should I Call the Doctor?

Call your doctor right away if your child has any of these symptoms:

  • severe belly pain
  • vomit that’s bloody or looks like coffee grounds
  • poop that’s bloody, black, or looks like tar
  • lasting gnawing or burning pain in the area below the ribs that gets better after eating, drinking milk, or taking antacids

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Summary

Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a type of bacteria that causes infection in the stomach. It is the main cause of peptic ulcers, and it can also cause gastritis and stomach cancer.

About 30 to 40% of people in the United States get an H. pylori infection. Most people get it as a child. H. pylori usually does not cause symptoms. But it can break down the inner protective coating in some people’s stomachs and cause inflammation. This can lead to gastritis or a peptic ulcer.

Researchers aren’t sure how H. pylori spreads. They think that it may spread by unclean food and water, or through contact with an infected person’s saliva and other body fluids.

A peptic ulcer causes a dull or burning pain in your stomach, especially when you have an empty stomach. It lasts for minutes to hours, and it may come and go for several days or weeks. It may also cause other symptoms, such as bloating, nausea, and weight loss. If you have the symptoms of a peptic ulcer, your health care provider will check to see whether you have H. pylori. There are blood, breath, and stool tests to check for H. pylori. In some cases, you may need an upper endoscopy, often with a biopsy.

If you do have a peptic ulcer, the treatment is with a combination of antibiotics and acid-reducing medicines. You will need to be tested again after treatment to make sure the infection is gone.

There is no vaccine for H. pylori. Since H. pylori might spread through unclean food and water, you might be able to prevent it if you:

  • Wash your hands after using the bathroom and before eating
  • Eat properly prepared food
  • Drink water from a clean, safe source

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases