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Helicobacter Pylori Treatment Options
Ronald Grisanti D.C., D.A.B.C.O., D.A.C.B.N., M.S.

Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) has been identified by researchers as the cause of the majority of gastrointestinal ulcers.

H. pylori is a bacteria that lives in the stomach and small intestine.



It has a unique way of adapting to the highly acidic environment of the stomach.

Although the stomach produces highly concentrated gastric juice which readily digest food or kill microorganisms, H. Pylori has a unique ability to dig itself into the protective lining of the stomach mucosal.




Unfortunately, low levels of stomach acid increase the chance of this bacteria surviving.

This may be one of the more serious side effects of the popularly prescribed medicines for excess stomach acid.

We now have a national epidemic of people suffering with digestive problems.

These same medicines that are suppose to decrease or worse STOP the production of acid, may be exactly what the H. Pylori bug needs to survive.

Once H. pylori is safe in the mucus, it is able to fight the stomach acid that does reach it with an enzyme it possesses called urease. Urease converts urea, of which there is an abundant supply in the stomach (from saliva and gastric juices), into bicarbonate and ammonia, which are strong bases.

This creates a cloud of acid-neutralizing chemicals around the H. pylori, protecting it from the acid in the stomach. The breath test method of diagnosis relies on this reaction being present.

Contributing to the protection of H. pylori is the fact that the body's natural defenses cannot reach the bacterium in the mucus lining of the stomach.

How H. Pylori is Transmitted

H. pylori is believed to be transmitted orally.

Many researchers believe that H, pylori is transmitted orally by means of fecal matter through the ingestion of waste-tainted food or water.

Complication of Untreated H pylori

About 550,000 new cases of stomach cancer each year are attributable to Helicobacter pylori.

Tests to Detect H. Pylori

Besides the standard blood test, the following two tests should be considered

  • Helicobacter Pylori Antibody Assay

    An ELISA method is used to measure serum IgG antibodies to Helicobacter pylori.

    Breath Test

    The Urea Breath Test is a cost effective, non-invasive, highly accurate 15-minute test to detect Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection. Importantly, the Urea Breath Test detects active infection, and in contrast to blood serology tests, doesn't produce false positives results due to previous infection. The Urea Breath Test detects very low levels of H. pylori colonization and assesses the entire gastric mucosa. This patient friendly breath test provides definitive answers to rule out H. pylori infection.

    Stool Test

    The Premier Platinum HpSA, an enzyme immunoassay for the detection of Helicobacter pylori antigens in human stool, cleared by the FDA and CE-marked, is now widely used in many countries, as a valuable tool for the H.pylori patients' management

    Action Steps to Treat and Eliminate H. Pylori

    It is not recommended to treat H Pylori with a single medication so combination therapy should always be used. There are a number of combination therapies in common use e.g. dual, triple and quadruple, but at this time the most proven effective treatment is a 2-week course of triple therapy.

    FDA Approved Treatments

    Traditional "triple therapy", consisting of colloidal bismuth (found in the U.S. in OTC substances such as Pepto Bismol), tetracycline and metronidazole has resulted in 60-95% eradication of H. pylori.

    Alternative Treatments

  • Supplementation for one month with Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium yogurt or capsules AFTER one week of triple antibiotic therapy.

  • Drinking approximately 1 quart of water per 50 pounds of bodyweight has resolved many cases of H. Pylori infection.

  • Mastic gum has also been shown to kill H. pylori.

  • The combination of garlic with the antibiotic omeprazole has shown to increase the effectiveness of the antibiotic.

  • Increase your intake of cinnamon. Cinnamon extract (from methylene chloride) inhibited H. pylori at concentration range of common antibiotics.

  • Berberine is an herb that has broad-spectrum antibiotic activity and has shown some promise in inhibiting the growth of H. pylori.

    In a Chinese study, administration of 300 mg berberine three times daily for six weeks resulted in suppression of H. pylori in at least 40 percent of a group of peptic ulcer patients.



    References

    Mastic Gum Kills Helicobacter pylori. N Engl J Med. 1999 Feb 18;340(7):576

    Huwez FU, Thirlwell D, Cockayne A, Ala'Aldeen DA. Mastic gum kills Helicobacter pylori. N Engl J Med. 1998 Dec 24;339(26):1946

    Marone P, Bono L, Leone E, Bona S, Carretto E, Perversi L. Bactericidal activity of Pistacia lentiscus mastic gum against Helicobacter pylori.

    J Chemother. 2001 Dec;13(6):611-4.

    Jonkers D, van den Broek E, van Dooren I, Thijs C, Dorant E, Hageman G, Stobberingh E. Antibacterial effect of garlic and omeprazole on Helicobacter pylori. J Antimicrob Chemother. 1999 Jun;43(6):837-9.

    Cinnamon extracts' inhibitory effect on Helicobacter pylori.

    J Ethnopharmacol. 1999 Nov 30;67(3):269-77.

    Mahady GB, Pendland SL, Stoia A, Chadwick LR. In vitro susceptibility of Helicobacter pylori to isoquinoline alkaloids from Sanguinaria canadensis and Hydrastis canadensis. Phytother Res. 2003 Mar;17(3):217-21.



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