H. pylori , is a bacterium that infects the internal wall of the human stomach, being transmitted mainly through contaminated water and food, but also through the contact with feces and saliva of infected people.
Therefore, the possibility of contagion increases with the lack of basic hygiene care. It is estimated that about half of the world’s population is infected, but not everyone develops symptoms.
Despite the large number of cases, H. pylori is treated and can be eradicated.
- 1 When to treat H. Pylori?
- 2 How is H. Pylori treated?
- 3 What are the remedies?
- 4 How long does it take to cure H Pylori?
- 5 What not to eat when treating H. Pylori?
- 6 Symptoms after treatment: is it normal to have stomach pain?
- 7 What are the side effects of the treatment?
When to treat H. Pylori?
Most people infected with H. pylori have no symptoms and do not develop health problems.
However, in the presence of symptoms and without treatment, some gastrointestinal problems may arise, such as ulcer, stomach cancer and other diseases that are associated with H. pylori.
Treatment is indicated when there are risks of worsening the condition (cancer or iron deficiency anemia may develop, peptic ulcer and bleeding, for example). Or, in the presence of characteristic symptoms, according to medical advice:
- Abdominal discomfort or pain;
How is H. Pylori treated?
The treatment of infection by H. Pylori is done with antibiotics and proton pump inhibitors, lasting 7 to 14 days, according to medical advice.
These drugs aim to eliminate the bacteria and also to alleviate the symptoms related to the infection, protecting the gastric mucosa.
However, the period for symptom improvement may vary according to the condition of each patient. But, in any case, the treatment should not be interrupted ahead of time.
It is important that the time and period of use of the prescribed remedies are followed.
In addition, treatment may include care in relation to food. Thus, avoiding foods that increase stomach acid secretion, as well as properly sanitizing fruits and vegetables before consumption are important measures.
Treatment for resistant H. Pylori
In some cases, the standard treatment regimen may not have the desired effects. That is, even after using the drugs, the person still has H. Pylori .
In these cases, or if there is a contraindication to the use of the first line options (usually amoxicillin 1g + clarithromycin 500mg + omeprazole 20mg), the options include:
- Replace clarithromycin with levofloxacin;
- Replace amoxicillin with furazolidone or metronidazole.
The choice should be guided by professionals, according to the clinical condition of each patient.
What are the remedies?
In the treatment of H. pylori, the triple standard therapeutic regimen is made, combining two antibiotics and a gastric protector. Antibiotics can be prescribed separately (two drugs) or combined (one combined tablet).
Used in combination with gastric protector, antibiotics are used to eliminate infection, fighting bacteria in the stomach. The times and days of medication ingestion must be followed according to medical advice for treatment to be successful.
The standard treatment schedule (first line) recommended is made with amoxicillin 1g, clarithromycin 500mg, every 12 hours for 14 days.
But other medications can also be prescribed in the treatment, according to medical advice:
- Amoxicillin ;
- Clarithromycin ;
- Levofloxacin ;
Proton pump inhibitor
In the case of peptic ulcer, the proton pump inhibitors act in the healing of lesions and ulcerations present in the stomach.
The options are usually:
- Pantoprazole ;
- Rabeprazole ;
- Esomeprazole .
How long does it take to cure H Pylori?
The treatment lasts an average of 14 days, but the process can be prolonged in case of resistance from the bacteria. After the eradication of the bacteria, precautions must be taken to avoid reinfection.
What not to eat when treating H. Pylori?
During the treatment it is also necessary to take care of the food, avoiding the consumption of foods that cause irritation or increase the production of gastric acid.
In general, foods that aggravate symptoms should be avoided:
- Coffees, teas, caffeinated drinks, cola-based soft drinks and alcoholic beverages;
- Citrus fruits like lemon, orange and pineapple;
- Peppers and spicy foods, such as mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise, diced sauces and seasonings;
- Fatty meats, fried foods, sausages, canned and salty snacks.
Symptoms after treatment: is it normal to have stomach pain?
Yes. In the case of recent treatment termination, it is common to experience discomfort due to the side effects of the medications used. Thus, patients may experience pain in the stomach or worsen the pre-existing one.
There is also a possibility that the bacteria has not been eradicated, causing the symptoms to persist. In both cases, it is necessary to return to the consultation, for guidance and adaptation of treatment or retreatment.
What are the side effects of the treatment?
The side effects of H. pylori treatment may vary depending on the medication prescribed. But, in general, patients report the presence of nausea, stomach discomfort and headache .
Other adverse symptoms can be found in the package insert for the prescribed medication, but all must be reported to the doctor for guidance and possible medication changes.
In the package insert for antibiotics and proton pump inhibitors, there is no mention of weight gain. However, each patient can react in a different way to therapy, and any changes must be reported to specialists.
In addition, what can occur is that, with treatment, the symptoms of gastric discomfort minimize. As a result, patients tend to eat normally, which can lead to the recovery of weight lost during infection.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and hygiene habits can prevent contact with H. pylori. Attention to the appearance of symptoms is also another essential factor that helps when treating the disease.
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