H. pylori is a type of bacteria known to cause stomach ulcers and gastritis, but it can also be found in the throat. The symptoms are chronic cough, asthma or bronchitis, fatigue, and weight loss. Some studies say H. pylori may not even exist at all without antibiotics present in an environment that promotes its growth- this means you could get rid of the bacteria just by eating pills with probiotics for two weeks straight!
Do you know what’s been dubbed “human history’s most successful pathogen?” Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a kind of bacterium that has been around for at least two hundred thousand years. And it’s very unusual for a person to have these bacterium residing inside of them for the rest of their lives without ever realizing it!
According to the CDC, Helicobacter pylori infects around 66 percent of the world’s population. The situation is significantly worse in underdeveloped nations, with up to 80% of adults and 10% of children possibly infected with H. pylori. If you have this illness, you are unlikely to have any symptoms. However, having these bacteria in your body may increase your risk of stomach cancer by up to six times. In addition, the H. pylori bacterium is often linked to other serious digestive issues such as peptic ulcers and gastritis. H. pylori may develop ulcers not just in the stomach but also in the esophagus and small intestine.
If Helicobacter pylori are such a frequent illness, you’re undoubtedly wondering how you obtain it. Unfortunately, exchanging beverages or utensils with someone who has previously been infected with the H. pylori bacterium might be as easy as that. There are traditional therapies for this illness, but they come with their own set of drawbacks. Antibiotics, for example, may or may not destroy the nasty bacteria that causes an H. pylori infection, but they will certainly wipe out your beneficial bacteria. Thankfully, there are natural methods to cure and prevent a Helicobacter pylori infection.
What are Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori)?
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a microorganism with a helical form. In the stomach and duodenum, it causes persistent inflammation and infection (the first part of the small intestine immediately beyond the stomach). This bacterium is often called “ulcer bacteria” because it produces a cytotoxin (vacuolating cytotoxin A, or Vac-A) that may cause an ulcer to develop anywhere in the digestive tract.
H. pylori may be found in a variety of places throughout the body. The bacterium Helicobacter pylori usually live in the mucosal layer, covering and protecting the tissues lining your stomach and small intestine. An ulcer may occur when this bacterium effectively inflames the stomach’s inner layer. It is estimated that H. pylori are responsible for more than 90% of duodenal (upper small intestine) ulcers and up to 80% of gastric (stomach) ulcers.
Is Helicobacter pylori contagious? According to doctors, infection with H. pylori looks to be infectious. However, it’s still a bit unclear how it’s handed on from person to person. H. pylori seems to run in families and is more prevalent in crowded living settings and filthy environments, all of which lead to H. pylori being infectious.
Symptoms & Signs
As previously said, most individuals who have an H. pylori infection will have no idea they have it since there are no symptoms.
Other times, the infection manifests itself in H. pylori symptoms such as:
- Uncomfortable stomach
H. pylori symptoms may be caused by more severe illnesses such as:
- Pain in the abdomen
- Nausea and vomiting, including the possibility of vomiting blood
- Stools that are dark or tarry
- Breath problems
- Appetite loss or reduction
- Ulcers in the stomach
Risk Factors & Causes
There aren’t many H. pylori causes. H. pylori is mostly transmitted from person to person by direct contact with an infected individual’s saliva, vomit, or feces. For example, kissing and sharing utensils are two frequent methods of spreading the bacterium. H. pylori may also be acquired by contaminated water or food.
Childhood is when you’re most vulnerable to H. pylori infection, particularly in situations like these:
- Living with someone who already has H. pylori, such as a parent.
- A congested living environment with a large number of individuals.
- Safe and dependable water is scarce.
- Your residence is in a developing nation, where filthy living conditions and overcrowding are more common.
Your doctor will prescribe an H. pylori breath, stool, or blood test to identify a Helicobacter pylori infection.
H. pylori is generally treated with a combination of drugs, at least two of which are antibiotics, in the hopes of killing the bacterium. Acid reducers are generally the other drug. Why are there so many antibiotics? According to conventional opinion, a single antibiotic may not be enough to kill the germs; therefore, they usually employ at least two at once.
Acid reducers like esomeprazole, lansoprazole, omeprazole, or pantoprazole are often used in H. pylori therapy, particularly if the patient has ulcer or heartburn symptoms. Bismuth subsalicylate is another popular supplement. In addition, your doctor may prescribe histamine blockers to help lower stomach acid.
So, all total, we’re talking about taking 14 or more drugs every day for many weeks. In addition, your doctor will likely retest you a week or two after you complete your therapy to check whether the H. pylori bacterium was effectively removed.
In certain cases, the bacterium persists, and patients are advised to continue taking their meds for another two weeks. It’s estimated that up to 20% of H. pylori patients may have a recurrent infection.
8 All-Natural Cures
If you don’t want to use conventional medication, there are several natural ways to treat H. pylori. Unfortunately, antibiotic resistance against H. pylori is on the increase and doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon; thus, we (the global population) must develop effective natural remedies for this bacterium.
These are some of the most effective, clinically validated natural remedies for this bacterial infection:
Because H. pylori is a “bad bacterium” in the stomach, it’s only logical that probiotics (the “good bacteria”) may aid in the natural battle against this illness. The benefits of probiotics on persons with dyspepsia who tested positive for the pylori bacteria were investigated in a 2012 placebo-controlled pilot trial published in the journal Inflammation and Allergy Drug Targets. They discovered that 13 of the 40 individuals had their H. pylori completely eradicated after using an eight-strain probiotic supplement.
Another research from 2017 makes an interesting point: popular medicines used to treat H. pylori (such as amoxicillin, clarithromycin, and metronidazole) frequently fail to completely eliminate H. pylori in patients owing to antibiotic resistance, which is becoming more common as antibiotic abuse increases.
So, sometimes when patients take antibiotics for H. pylori, they’re not only killing off all of their beneficial bacteria, but they’re also not killing off the evil H. pylori bacteria! This 2017 research found that if patients take antibiotics for an H. pylori infection and simultaneously take probiotics, the chance of eradication is higher, and the risk of antibiotic-related GI side effects is lower.
Lactobacillus fermentum, Lactobacillus casei, and Lactobacillus Brevis are three strains of probiotics that have been studied for their potential to combat the H. pylori bacterium.
2. Seed of the Black (Nigella Sativa)
Black seed offers many advantages, including combating H. pylori infections. According to a 2010 study, feeding H. pylori patients two grams of pulverized black seeds daily, coupled with omeprazole (an acid blocker), was more successful than the typical “triple treatment” of an acid blocker plus two separate antibiotics in curing H. pylori. Black seed doses of one or three grams per day were less effective. “N. Sativa seeds have therapeutically beneficial anti-H. pylori efficacy, similar to triple treatment,” the research concluded. Acid-reducing and gastro-protective properties are also found in black seeds.
3. Broccoli Sprouts
Broccoli sprouts are broccoli plants that have just been in the ground for a few days. As a result, they have exceptionally high quantities of sulforaphane, a sulfur-containing compound. The antioxidant and detoxifying properties of sulforaphane are well-known. Broccoli sprouts are used to manufacture both external and internal supplements, such as broccoli seed oil. According to a study published in Digestive Diseases and Sciences, 78 percent (seven out of nine) of the subjects who consumed broccoli sprouts (14, 28, or 56 grams) two times per day for a week tested negative for Helicobacter pylori at the end of the week. Six of the subjects tested negative at day 35 of the study.
Most recently, research published in the journal Current Pharmaceutical Design in 2017 found that sulforaphane in broccoli sprouts may help guard against gastrointestinal damage caused by hazardous NSAIDs and battle H. pylori and gastritis can cause.
4. Green Tea
Green tea isn’t merely a popular hot or cold beverage. It’s also been demonstrated to stop Helicobacter pylori germs from growing. “Green tea drinking may reduce stomach mucosal inflammation if taken prior to Helicobacter infection,” according to in vitro research. Green tea, according to the findings, is a natural chemical that may be used to prevent and cure gastritis caused by the Helicobacter pylori bacterium.
Other research has shown that the catechins in green tea, particularly epigallocatechin gallate, have potent antibacterial properties against the H. pylori bacterium. Catechins may be found in abundance in green tea. Catechins have also been linked to anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antiplaque-forming, and anti-cancer properties.
Garlic is a natural anti-inflammatory that also has antibacterial effects. Garlic, both cooked and raw, may aid in the elimination of Helicobacter pylori germs. People with Helicobacter pylori who ate two medium-sized garlic cloves (approximately 3 grams) with their lunch at noon and supper at night experienced a considerable decrease in Helicobacter pylori bacteria, according to a 2016 research. This shows that garlic possesses antibacterial properties that are particular to H. pylori.
Propolis is a resinous substance gathered by honeybees from a range of plant sources and utilized to maintain the structural integrity of the hive. Propolis comprises around 300 natural chemicals, according to scientists who studied the chemical makeup of the substance. Among these chemicals are amino acids, coumarins, phenolic aldehydes, polyphenols, sesquiterpene quinines, and steroids. Propolis extract, which is available as a supplement, has been shown in many trials to prevent the development of H. pylori bacteria due to its high level of phenolic chemicals.
7. H. pylori Diet in General
What you should eat more of:
- Foods high in probiotics, such as kefir
- Omega-3 fatty acid-rich wild-caught fish
- Omega-3s are also abundant in flax and chia seeds.
- In green/black tea, raw honey, particularly manuka honey, is used in moderation.
- Raspberry, strawberry, blackberry, blueberry, and bilberry
- Broccoli and broccoli sprouts are examples of cruciferous vegetables.
To combat Helicobacter pylori and H. pylori symptoms, avoid or limit the following foods:
- Beverages with carbonation
- Pickled foods
- Meals with a kick
- Grain with low fiber content
8. Stress Reduction
Stress exacerbates the symptoms of Helicobacter pylori infection. Additionally, those with anxiety and high-stress levels have worse immunological functioning, greater incidence of H. pylori infections, and stomach inflammation/ulcers than the general population. Therefore, make an effort to integrate additional stress relievers into your everyday routine. Deep breathing, yoga, tai chi, acupuncture, and meditation are all excellent options.
Preventing H. pylori
Here are a few of the most effective techniques to avoid getting Helicobacter pylori in the first place:
- Safe Drinking Water: It may seem obvious or stupid to someone who lives in a developed nation where clean drinking water is readily available, but it is critical for everyone, young and old, to only consuming water from a clean, safe source. One of the most common ways to get H. pylori is via drinking polluted water. Remember this while visiting overseas, even if you reside in a developed nation.
- Maintain Good Hygiene: Wash your hands before eating and, of course, after using the restroom. I also strongly advise not sharing utensils, glasses, or other personal items with strangers, friends, or even family members, since direct contact with infectious saliva is one of the most common sources of H. pylori infection.
- Consume Properly Prepared Food: Because food may get contaminated with the H. pylori bacteria, make sure you consume foods that have been completely cooked and safely prepared under clean circumstances.
If you think you may have a Helicobacter pylori infection, you should have an H. pylori test done as soon as possible.
If you have any of the following symptoms, you should seek immediate medical attention:
- Having difficulty swallowing
- Abdominal discomfort that is persistent or severe
- Vomit that is bloody or black in color.
- Vomit resembling coffee grinds
- Stools that are black, tarry, or bloody
- Gnawing or scorching discomfort behind the ribcage that improves after eating, drinking milk, or taking antacids
If you have no symptoms of a Helicobacter pylori infection yet test positive for H. pylori, it’s debatable whether or not you should be treated.
Before attempting any new supplements or foods, see your doctor if you are already on any medications or have any existing health issues.
Helicobacter pylori is a serious health problem that affects people worldwide. Unfortunately, because they have no negative health symptoms, many individuals are unaware that they have H. pylori bacteria in their systems. Meanwhile, some are suffering from small or severe symptoms that they mistakenly attribute to another health condition when, in reality, they need H. pylori therapy.
It’s critical to be tested for H. pylori if you’re experiencing H. pylori symptoms and go on from there. It’s much simpler to go ahead with an effective treatment plan that feels appropriate for you once you know if you have or don’t have this bacterial illness.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is H. pylori’s natural treatment?
A: H. pylori is a bacteria that can cause stomach ulcers, peptic ulcers, and even gastroenteritis. It is also called the B strain of bacteria. It was first found in stool samples taken from patients with bile-stained gastritis or chronic atrophic gastritis (a type of non-malignant histologic change). The most common treatment for those who have been diagnosed with this infection is antibiotics to kill off the entire infected person’s gut flora while undergoing eradication therapy involving two different types of antibiotics over 2 weeks.
What is the fastest way to cure H. pylori?
A: The fastest way to cure H. pylori is through the use of antibiotics and a course of probiotics, which are good bacteria that can help reduce levels of acid reflux and neutralize any harmful effects from the disease.
What foods kill H. pylori?
A: Many foods will kill H. pylori, but a good one is a garlic or onion.
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