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Recurrent H. Pylori infections?
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Recurrent H. Pylori infections?

Hi,

I have been reading your forum a little while - it is great.  Here is my problem (any insight is welcome) I never had any problems with my stomach until 1999.  For days I experienced painful burning in the middle of my stomach.  I went to see my regular doctor - he tested for H. Pylori and treated it with antibiotics.  He also referred me to a specialist who performed an endoscopy (My Mom died with adenocarcinoma at age 61) - just to be on the safe side.  They found nothing except a hiatal hernia - H. Pylori test was negative.  For 9 months I was o.k., then the burning started again.  Went back to my regular doctor (it takes 2 months to get into the specialist's office) - my H. Pylori antibodies were 29 (high) - treated again - 2 months later I saw the Specialist.  He told me to come back if the symptoms recur.  Well, two months ago, the burning started again, blood test for H. Pylori was high again and I am waiting to see the Specialist.  My question:  Obviously my H. Pylori was erradicated once (as tested by endoscopy).  Has anyone experienced H. Pylori reinfection?  The strange thing is the Specialist does not seem to be too concerned about H. Pylori - I am at wits end.  Mainly, I need to get rid of the burning - which seems to subside after antibiotics treatment.  Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Romy
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I have seen that this bacteria is hard to kill sometimes...so it may be the same infection.  The antibiotics cuold have just knocked it way down, so it looked like it was gone, but it really wasn't.  [I also have seen that tests can be positive even after it is gone...so could be like a false positive here.]  I would keep getting checked and do as the doctors tell you.  I assume it is also possible to be reinfected, just like any other bacterial infection.  This bacteria has also been linked to peptic ulcers...have they checked for that?


Here's some info.

http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health/digest/pubs/hpylori/hpylori.htm#2
http://www.helico.com/
http://familydoctor.org/handouts/271.html
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Since you have the hiatal hernia, I would bet that you take some antacids, or have taken antacids for the burning.  H. pylori bacteria thrive in low acid environments.  We are not totally sure if the bacteria cause lowered stomach acidity or if low acidity sets the stage for H. pylori (I'm betting on the latter).

H. pylori is the #1 cause of ulcers.  Antibiotics and bismuth (in pepto-bismol or similar prep) can get rid of it (this was a known cure for farm animals back in the 40s & was commonly used by veterinarians, but it took a long time to get the "human" medical community to accept it), but ultimately the low acid conditions will have to be addressed, or it will return.

I suggest you find a doctor (most likely a chiropractor, naturopath, or other holistic practitioner) in your area who carries Standard Process food supplements.  He or she can help you assess with intervention, depending on whether the H. pylori has actually caused an ulcer.  Some of their products that may be helpful are: Gastrex, Okra-pepsin E3, Chlorophyll Complex (on an empty stomach), with eventual correction of the digestion problem with something like Zypan.  If you cannot find someone in your area, I have seen websites offering the required symptom survey, so that you can get qualified assistance with this.  Just do a search on Standard Process (founded in 1929 by a dentist who is recognized as a prominent nutritional researcher, Dr. Royal Lee, DDS).

A lot of people take antacids thinking the stomach acid is the problem, but often it is an enzyme problem -- the food doesn't digest so it putrefies (protein) and/or ferments (carbs) which causes gastric distress.  This low acid environment is ideal for H. pylori.  It also lowers our first-line defense against other organisms that might be in our food (such as in restaurants) which would normally be killed by stomach acid.

I have used these supplements with great success -- they are whole food concentrates, so they are safe, but you need the help of a professional to help you with product selection & dosage.

You must get at the cause or you will be repeating antibiotics over & over.  You probably already need some type of probiotic product to correct an imbalance of good & bad flora (bacteria, yeast, etc) in your gut typically caused by the antibiotics.

Of course, with a hiatal hernia, you may want to eat smaller volumes of food at a time; don't lie down within a couple hours of eating, & try a brick under the legs at the head of your bed (or use a wedge pillow).

I admire you for pursuing this.  Your instincts that it isn't okay to have recurrences have proven correct.

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I totally agree.  I had a problem with severe heartburn and burning for a while.  I was tested for H-Pylori and it was negative. Mine was stress induced. The doc tried to put me on acid reducers, but I did not take them because that can cause MORE problems in the long run.  I have learned A Lot about natural health, and I have heard that once you test positive for H-Pylori you will always test positive for it...something to think about.  Also there are natural products that can kill that bacteria instead of so many antibiotics, as those kill even your good bacteria and eventually suppress your immune system. Go to Naturessunshine.com and look at their products.  Theyhave some good stuff.  Good luck to you!!
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Most antibiotics are "natural", penicillin, for example.  Why do people think medications aren't "natural"?  Most come from plants, or are naturally occuring substances found, even produced, in our own bodies...like steroid hormones, for instance.  Many so called herbal remedies, while natural as well, contain toxins, too.  I just don't understand the label "natural", I guess.  Anyway, many things can be beneficial as well as harmful and costs must be weighed against benefits.  Too many antibiotics are not good, I agree.  [Too many vitamins can be bad, too...but that doesn't mean they are always bad.]  Best to find the cause of the problem and treat it accordingly.
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Thanks to everyone.  I really appreciate your insights.  H. Pylori is tough to kill - and I will take your advice to get checked for an ulcer again.  (They did that with endoscopy two years ago).  I am just so careful, because my Mom died of stomach cancer - a horrible horrible way to go.

Thanks again!

Romy
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A related discussion, Recurring H Pylori was started.
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A related discussion, H.pylori Chances of it coming back ? was started.
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