H. pylori, also known as Helicobacter pylori, is a bacterial infection located in the stomach. It is often contracted during childhood. While many people with H. pylori demonstrate no symptoms, doctors estimate that half the world’s population is infected. Helicobacter pylori and ulcers specialist Beverly Hills
H. pylori can spread from person to person or through tainted water. For this reason, the infection is more common in developing nations. Left untreated, the bacteria can lead to peptic ulcers, inflammation, and even certain types of stomach cancer. To protect their long-term gastrointestinal health, individuals with ulcers should be tested for H. pylori. Contact Dr. Peyton Berookim, Helicobacter pylori and ulcers specialist Beverly Hills, for a consultation to learn more about this potentially serious condition.
These open sores on the lining of the esophagus, stomach, and small intestine can cause a great deal of abdominal pain and discomfort as well as internal bleeding and infection. While many people assume diet and other factors like stress are responsible for ulcers, doctors now realize that most ulcers occur as a result of untreated bacterial infections. Peptic ulcers inside the stomach are known as gastric ulcers, and often result from H. pylori.
Symptoms of H. Pylori
Some patients experience few if any symptoms of H. pylori. However, others experience painful ulcers and the following unpleasant side effects:
- Pain in the abdomen
- Weight loss
If you’re experiencing any of the above side effects, it’s important that you visit a board-certified gastroenterologist like Dr. Berookim for testing.
In rare cases, patients with ulcers or H. pylori may experience the following serious side effects:
- Changes in appetite
- Trouble swallowing
- Nausea and vomiting, including vomiting of blood
- Black or bloody stool
Patients with these symptoms should seek immediate medical attention.
Diagnosing H. Pylori
GI doctors utilize various methods to diagnose H. pylori including blood, breath, and stool tests. Dr. Berookim may also perform an EGD or upper endoscopy, in which a flexible tube with a camera on the end is inserted into the throat and stomach. During an endoscopy, Dr. Berookim can take samples of tissue to test for the H. pylori infection. Treating H. pylori is essential to preventing serious side effects and helping your stomach lining to heal.
Treating H. Pylori
Because H. pylori is a bacterial infection, GI doctors prescribe antibiotics to treat it. Dr. Berookim will also recommend an acid-suppressing medication to help the stomach lining recover. H. pylori bacteria are often resistant to drugs. Additional testing and re-treatment may be necessary to ensure that the H. pylori bacteria are truly eradicated.
In rare cases, patients with severe ulcers may require surgery to alleviate their pain and protect the long-term health of the GI system.
Contact Dr. Berookim
Double board-certified in gastroenterology and internal medicine, Dr. Peyton Berookim specializes in treating H. pylori and gastric ulcers among other conditions affecting the health of the GI tract.