You’re not pregnant and you haven’t gained weight, but your jeans are straining at the waist.
So what’s going on? Here are the most common causes…
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Coeliac disease
- Hormonal fluctuations
- Ovarian cancer
- Infection with H. pylori (Helicobacter Pylori)
In this article we are going to take a closer look of the last cause on the list – H. pylori (Helicobacter Pylori).
Helicobacter pylori Facts
– Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a bacterium that causes chronic inflammation in the stomach and is a common cause of ulcers worldwide.
– H. pylori causes chronic inflammation (gastritis) by invading the lining of the stomach and producing a cytotoxin termed vacuolating cytotoxin A (Vac-A), and thus can lead to ulcer formation.
– Although many infected individuals have no symptoms, other infected individuals may have occasional episodes of:
- Abdominal pain or a burning sensation in the abdomen
- Bad breath
- Blood in the stool or vomit (may appear black in color)
- Excessive burping (belching)
- Flatulence (passing gas from the rectum)
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
-Pylori is contagious; however some individuals may simply have the bacteria in their gut gut, and the bacteria causes no symptoms of the disease.
-The diagnosis of pylori infection includes tests for antibodies in the blood, urea breath tests, tests for antigens in the stool, and endoscopic biopsies.
-Chronic infections with pylori weakens the natural defenses of the stomach so most individuals with symptoms need to be treated to prevent ulceration formation.
-Pylori can be difficult to eradicate from the stomach because of antibiotic resistance.
-In general, patients should be treated if they are infected with pylori and have ulcers. Moreover, patients who develop MALT lymphoma (a type of cancer) of the stomach have the lymphoma progress if H. pylori is not treated and eradicated.
Because about 50% of the world’s population carries or is infected with pylori, treatment, and prevention of side effects and complications are difficult; however, recommendations to help prevent ulcers include:
- Reduce or stop alcohol intake and/or quit smoking
- Avoid caffeine
- Avoid or reduce stress
- Good hand washing techniques with uncontaminated water will reduce chances of infection.
- Currently, no vaccine is available against pylori to prevent either colonization or infection.
The prognosis for H. pylori infections is usually good to excellent, but up to 20% of affected individuals may have reoccurring infection. Untreated and more severe infections have a worse prognosis because of the potential for bleeding, anemia, and low blood pressure (hypotension).
There are certain home cures that can help alleviate pain caused by the ulcers due to the helicobacter pylori. Listed below are a few helicobacter pylori home remedies that you can try out, but make sure that you do not depend on home remedies alone. Allopathic treatment is necessary.
- Bananas: An antibacterial substance that may slow down the growth of H. pylori is present in bananas. Research shows that eating bananas produces more mucus in the stomach and aids in creating a barrier between the stomach lining and digestive acids. Bananas also tend to help you get a thicker stomach wall.
- Cabbage: Drinking a single quart of raw cabbage juice helps heal ulcers in just five days according to research. Raw cabbage juice is not the only healthy option, as studies show that eating plain cabbage helps stomach heal quicker. You can add raw cabbage to your diet in salads and sandwiches.
- Carrot Juice: Carrots are rich in vitamin A, which helps prevent the stomach lining from breaking down. This is useful as the carrot juice lubricates food that you have eaten while also protecting your stomach from unwanted and harmful micro-organisms.
- Cayenne Pepper: In moderation, cayenne pepper is useful in fighting ulcers; the pepper stimulates the blood, thus increasing nutrient supply to the stomach. A good recipe to follow is mixing a quarter teaspoon of cayenne pepper in warm water and drinking a cup of peppered tea everyday. You can also add a pinch of cayenne pepper to the food that you cook daily.
- Elm Bark: The elm bark helps soothe the mucous membranes that protect the stomach lining. It is often used as a powder, and herbalists suggest that you add a teaspoon of powdered slippery elm bark to a cup of warm water and drink the mixture thrice a day.
- Garlic: Garlic contains antibacterial properties that help combat H. pylori. Use two crushed cloves every day.
- Licorice: Studies have shown that eating licorice helps in healing ulcers as it helps decrease the capability of the stomach acid in harming the stomach lining. Licorice can be consumed in various forms as a tea or by cutting the root and mixing it in warm water. Eat only one ounce a day.
- Plums: Foods that are purple and red in color restrain H. pylori from growing. Most berries are also good fruit options to include in your diet.
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