Tag Archives: H. pylori testing

How can H. pylori affect you?

She had been vomiting everyday for 1 to 2 weeks every few months for 5 years with no other symptoms.  Her medical doctor suggested it was due to stress and suggested a prescription for antidepressant medication.  She decided to not take the drug.

When I saw her a few months later, she said she did not feel like she had been under stress nor did she report having been depressed.

When I first saw her I thought her symptoms seem to coincide with some type of a parasite life cycle.  Although this was my original thought upon meeting with her, I knew I needed to run some tests to understand her condition more fully.  So we ran some blood work, saliva, and stool tests.

Her Saliva testing indicated that she had low secretory IgA, which could indicate a parasitic infection of the gut.

Her CBC and chem screen values where all within normal limits.  However, her white blood cell count was at the low end of the reference range.  From a functional medicine standpoint, this could be indicative of a chronic infection somewhere in the body.  As an infection is being fought for long periods of time, the bodies immune system has a more difficult time keeping up with it and the white blood cell count can fall.  This is in contrast to an acute infection in which the white blood cell count could be elevated.

Her stool test was positive for H. pylori.

I then referred her to a medical doctor who prescribed her a regime of antibiotics and other medication to treat the H. pylori infection.  Following her antibiotic therapy we retested her for H. pylori and found her to be negative for the organism.

She continued to be a regular chiropractic patient for over 10 years. She reported the vomiting never returned following her treatment for H. pylori.

When looking at what could happen if this infection had gone on untreated in this young woman, I think we should consider the following post, ‘Eradicating H. Pylori lowers Risks for Stomach Cancer’, from Roji Menon, MD.  See her blog here:  http://rojimenon.com/2014/05/28/eradicating-h-pylori-lowers-risk-for-stomach-cancer/

 

Eradicating Helicobacter pylori in asymptomatic, healthy adults
reduces the incidence of subsequent gastric cancer.

Researchers identified six randomized, controlled trials that assessed
the effect of eradication therapy on stomach cancer incidence 2 or
more years later in adults who tested positive for H. pylori but had
no symptoms and were healthy. A variety of eradication therapies were
 used. Control groups received placebo or no therapy.

The authors conclude: “It seems likely that the benefit of searching
for and eradicating H. pylori in healthy asymptomatic individuals will
outweigh any potential harms, especially in populations at high risk
of gastric cancer. However, results from further trials in different
populations are urgently needed.”

You can also consider my last post: Is this the cause of your ulcer?

As always, please contact your health care provider if you have any questions regarding your health.

Please continue to educate yourself on your health because your health affects everything you do and everyone you know.

Yours in Health,

Sean Ripp, D.C.

Is this the cause of your ulcer?

And, if you have it, you may not know it.

Currently H. pylori is recognized as being associated with the cause of ulcers of the stomach, in the beginning of the upper intestine, and esophagus.  Even though H. pylori was discovered in 1982.  It wasn’t until Robin Warren and Barry Marshall won the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2005 that showed H. pylori to be the cause of ulcers.  It is found in 90 percent of peptic ulcers.

Symptoms.

Symptoms are usually associated with problems such as weight loss, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, heartburn, bad breath, diarrhea, bloating, burping, nausea, black stools, and vomiting.  Or there may be no symptoms at all.  Or there may be no ulcer present.

Please, consult your health care provider regarding any health concerns you may have.

What can H. pylori cause if not addressed?

Not only has the presence of H. pylori been associated with the cause of most peptic ulcers, it has been associated with an increase in risk of stomach cancer.  In addition, some practitioners have associated H. pylori with malabsorption of key nutrients leading to anemia, fatigue and other conditions.

Unfortunately, this organism is becoming more common.  And as I already mentioned, this organism may or may not be associated with symptoms.

Testing.

The practitioners that I have worked with have reported to me that the most accurate form of testing is the stool test, even more so than the breath test and blood test.  The MayoClinic suggests that the blood test is the least accurate and that the stool and breath test are the most accurate.

I have always used the stool test as I can also test for other gut parasites at the same time.

Treatment.

Treatment involves the use of antibiotics to kill the organism.  It can be difficult to treat the organism as it buries itself deep within the stomach wall.  In combination with antibiotics, your doctor may prescribe a proton pump inhibitor as well as histamine receptor blockers (2).  It is important to discuss any noticed side effects with your doctor when taking the medication. You should be retested following treatment to make sure the infection is no longer found.

How does it spread?

The most common way for this organism to be transmitted is from person to person via mouth-to-mouth and fecal matter-to-oral.  So if you are tested and found to be positive for H. pylori then your family members should be tested as well.  This organism can be difficult to kill especially if the infection is long standing.  The treatment itself can be physically rough.  It is suggested to follow up with a health practitioner who is experienced in the treatment of this infection.

Since this post involves the topic of ulcers, I feel it is important to recognize directions from the National Digestive Diseases 
Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC) that is supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  The NDDIC recognizes the following symptoms associated with peptic ulcers as a Medical Emergency and a person who has any of the following symptoms should call a doctor right away(4):

  • sharp, sudden, persistent, and severe stomach pain(4)
  • bloody or black stools(4)
  • bloody vomit or vomit that looks like coffee grounds(4)

I hope this information is useful in your persuit to understanding your health.  As always, I advise you to continue to learn as much as possible about your health as it affects everything you do and everyone you know.

Yours In Health,

Sean Ripp, D.C.

 

1) http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/h-pylori/basics/tests-diagnosis/CON-20030903

2) http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/176938-overview#aw2aab6b2b3aa

3) http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/hpylori/#9

4) http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/hpylori/hpylori_508.pdf