According to estimates, today around half of the world's population are infected with Helicobacter pylori, although not every infection produces symptoms. The bacterium Helicobacter pylori ("H. pylori") causes conditions such as gastritis and stomach ulcers.There is as yet no immunisation available against the infection, which occurs in both children and adults. However, use of the appropriate medication (such as antibiotics) can eliminate the bacterium. For more information on ulcers and H. pylori.
The stomach lining and duodenum are both protected against stomach acid by a protective coating. If this protective function is disturbed in any way, the mucous membrane of the stomach can be damaged, leading to ulcers. This typically happens due to H. pylori infection, which also
increases the risk of developing stomach cancer.
In most cases, H. pylori infection can be treated very successfully using a combination of antibiotics and antacids. Once the bacteria have been eliminated, the gastritis is generally cured.
If you have already been infected with H. pylori in the past and the infection was eliminated using antibiotics, this test may yield a positive reading even more than one year following treatment, although the infection is no longer present.
I have an H. pylori infection. What should I do?
Please visit your doctor, who will arrange for the appropriate examinations to be undertaken in order to confirm the diagnosis. Using treatment with antibiotics, your doctor will in most cases be able to completely destroy the bacteria and thus avoid any further associated intestinal symptoms.
It might be helpful to take these instructions with you to show your doctor, so you can give him or her a better idea of the type of test carried out.
I have stomach pains, but I seem not to be infected by H. pylori. What should I do?
Consult your doctor for a detailed examination.
Always consult your doctor before making any important medical decisions.
Not being infected with H. pylori does not necessarily mean that you cannot get a stomach ulcer for another reason.
Although the test is very accurate, false results may arise in very rare cases.
This is an immunological test for the detection of antibodies against H. pylori in blood.
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