Do you have a prolonged burning sensation after having spicy food? If you think it may be because of the spicy nature of the food, well think again. Our anatomy is designed to churn any type of food and suck the nutrients out of it. If you are having a burning sensation after food, ulcer-like symptoms then you are most probably infected by a bacterium called H Pylori. In this article, we walk you through what H Pylori is, symptoms of infection, accurate diagnosis, and much more about how it infect your digestive system.
What is H Pylori Bacteria?
Helicobacter Pylori which is commonly interchanged as ‘H Pylori’, is a type of spiral-shaped bacterium that was discovered in the year 1982. This bacteria causes infection in the stomach, around the small villi which is the inner layer of the stomach. The bacteria consumes the inner layer leaving the stomach vulnerable to the food intake, the more spicy the food, the more severe the pain is.
H Pylori is one of the prime reasons behind peptic ulcers. According to a study by CDC, nearly 30 – 40 percent of people in the United States get affected by H Pylori at least once in their lifetime. Children are also vulnerable to this bacterium.
Bacteria primarily transmitted via contaminated foods, and water. However, it can also be transmitted via droplets coming from the mouth of the infected person, like kissing.
Symptoms of H Pylori Infection
The symptoms will not immediately exhibit after you got infected with the bacterium. It can take a few weeks for the symptoms to appear initially. Infection can be seen on and off for several days or even weeks. Recurrences are highly possible between mealtimes.
This bacteria often results in a peptic ulcer which is a burning pain in your stomach, the pain is more severe when you are on an empty stomach. Following are some of the commonly seen symptoms by H Pylori infected individuals –
- Burning sensation in your abdomen
- Loss of appetite
- Frequent burping
- Sudden weight loss
As the infection progresses, the bacteria can cause severe and persistent abdominal ache, difficulty in swallowing, and bloody or black tarry stools indicating that your stomach inline has been affected badly.
Eating contaminated food and/or water is the primary cause of infection. The H Pylori invades and deteriorates the inline of your stomach, where the digestive acids get in touch with the stomach lining, resulting in stomach ulcers.
How to test for H Pylori?
The bacteria that causes internal burning can be detected in three types of testing.
- H Pylori blood test traces for the antigen in your blood.
- Breath test detects the bacteria with the breath sample in the given container
- Stool sample test takes the stool sample for identification of the bacterial presence in the stomach
According to a study, a stool sample test is the most reliable & accurate testing for H Pylori infection.
Treatment for H Pylori
H Pylori targets the stomach and causes ulcers and sometimes stomach cancer. H Pylori infection can be cured if addressed at the early stages. Treatment methods include natural diet planning and medications.
Taking in plenty of fiber-rich diets and detoxification foods can help reduce the burning sensation and can get you back on track. Foods like cranberries, green tea, ginger, broccoli, honey, Vitamin C-rich foods, and cabbage can help neutralize the infection and help terminate the H Pylori bacteria.
Also, there are certain types of foods that need to be completely avoided until the infection gets cured. They include spicy foods and alcoholic beverages. Activities like smoking can also be avoided as it slows down recovery.
What happens if H Pylori is left untreated?
H Pylori bacterium deteriorates the inner coating of the stomachs and causes inflammation. If left untreated it can lead to long-term health complications like stomach ulcers, internal bleeding, and even cancer.
There is no vaccine developed to protect against bacteria. However, there are antibiotics if you need them, in the case of moderate-severe cases.
Cleanliness is vital to maintain a utopian healthy lifestyle. Being unclean can cost you a fortune both in money and time in terms of hospital expenses and recovery from infectious diseases like H Pylori and several other gastrointestinal diseases.