H. pylori Infection Treatment in Largo, FL
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a spiral-shaped bacteria which can infect your stomach and duodenum. The germs involved in H. pylori enter your body, then reside in your digestive tract and, many years later, they can cause stomach ulcers to form in your stomach lining or in the upper part of your small intestines.
H pylori infection is quite common, impacting two-thirds of the world's population, and often goes undetected as you may not become sick from it. In some patients, the infection greatly increases the risk of developing stomach cancer, signaling the importance of receiving treatment if you present with symptoms of an H. pylori infection.
To schedule a consultation with a qualified healthcare provider in Largo that specializes in H pylori infection treatment, call (727) 826-0838 or contact Dr. Tracie Leonhardt online.
H. pylori Infection Symptoms
Most people who contract an H. pylori infection won't develop symptoms at all. When patients do present with H pylori symptoms, they may include:
- Abdominal pain (aching or burning) which may worsen when your stomach is empty (which could indicate an ulcer)
- Loss of appetite
- Frequent burping
- Unintentional, unexplained weight loss
Stomach ulcers pose a threat to your health, possibly bleeding into your stomach or intestines. You should seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Severe, persistent abdominal pain
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing
- Dizziness or fainting
- Stools that are bloody, black, dark red or tarry
- Unexplained fatigue
- Pale skin color
- Vomit that has blood that looks similar to coffee grounds
H. pylori Infection Diagnosis
If you are experiencing the symptoms of an H. pylori infection, it is important to receive a proper medical diagnosis as certain medicines, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), could damage your stomach lining if prescribed unnecessarily. To determine if H. pylori infection is at play, your healthcare provider will start with a full record of your medical history, symptoms and any medications you're currently taking. A physical exam will follow, including pressing on your stomach to inspect for swelling, tenderness and pain.
- Tests of your blood and stool to help locate an infection
- Breath test, in which you swallow a pill, liquid or pudding containing tagged carbon molecules ; if you have H. pylori infection, carbon is released when the solution is broken down in your stomach
- An endoscopy to inspect for irregularities in your upper digestive tract and to remove tissue samples (biopsy)
Traditional H. pylori Infection Treatment
H. pylori infection treatment typically involves two antibiotics to be taken simultaneously to help prevent bacteria from developing a resistance to one particular antibiotic. Your healthcare provider will also likely prescribe an acid-suppressing medication to help your stomach lining heal. You may be recommended to be tested for H. pylori at least four weeks after your treatment concludes to ensure treatment was successful. If you are still infected, a follow-up round of treatment will be recommended using a different combination of antibiotic medications.
H. pylori Integrative & Natural Treatment
As an alternative to traditional treatment, patients may find integrative approaches beneficial for treating their H. pylori infection symptoms. Alternatively, some patients may choose to pursue integrative approaches in conjunction with traditional treatment to optimize their treatment results. Integrative H. pylori treatments could include:
Avoiding the following H. pylori-supporting foods:
- Low-fiber and refined grains such as white flour, instant rice, pretzels and egg noodles. Replace them with fiber-rich foods such as chickpeas, chia seeds and black beans to reduce your risk of developing an ulcer as well as accelerating your recovery if you already have one.
- Spicy foods which may worsen your symptoms. Replace them with fruits and vegetables such as apples, celery, onions, garlic and cranberries which may help slow the growth of H. pylori.
- Coffee, caffeine and carbonated drinks which can increase stomach acid production and increase your risk of developing ulcers.
- Pickled foods which may increase your risk of gastric cancer.
- Probiotics, which help maintain the balance of good and bad gut bacteria and offset the imbalance caused by taking antibiotics
- Green tea, which may help kill or slow the growth of Helicobacter bacteria
- Honey and olive oil, which have been shown to have strong antibacterial abilities against H. pylori strains
- Licorice root, a natural remedy for stomach ulcers which can prevent bacteria from sticking to cell walls
- Broccoli sprouts, which help reduce gastric inflammation and lower bacteria colonization and its effects
- Phototherapy which uses ultraviolet light to help eliminate H. pylori in the stomach
- Stress reduction techniques such as yoga or meditation to maintain optimal immune function
It is important to receive treatment to ensure complications of H. pylori infection—such as ulcers, inflammation of the stomach lining or, in rare cases, stomach cancer—do not occur or are addressed if experienced. Schedule a consultation with a qualified healthcare provider in Largo that specializes in H. pylori infection treatment. Call (727) 826-0838 or contact Dr. Tracie Leonhardt online.
Peaks of Health Metabolic Medical Center
Address1120 Belcher Road S
Largo, FL 33771
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tue: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wed: 7:00 am - 5:00 pm
Thu: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Fri: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm