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Helicobacter Pylori Infection

Helicobacter Pylori Infection

What is gastritis? — "Gastritis" means inflammation of the stomach lining (figure 1).
Some people have gastritis that comes on suddenly and lasts only for a short time. Doctors call this "acute" gastritis. Other people have gastritis that lasts for months or years. Doctors call this "chronic" gastritis.
What causes gastritis? — Different things can cause gastritis, including:
An infection in the stomach from bacteria called "H. pylori"
Medicines called "nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs" (NSAIDs) – These include aspirin, ibuprofen (brand names: Advil, Motrin), and naproxen (brand names: Aleve, Naprosyn).
Drinking alcohol
Conditions in which the body's infection-fighting system attacks the stomach lining
Having a serious or life-threatening illness
What are the symptoms of gastritis? — People with gastritis have no symptoms. When people do have symptoms, they are due to other conditions that can happen with gastritis, like ulcers. Symptoms from ulcers include:
Pain in the upper belly
Feeling bloated, or feeling full after eating a small amount of food
Decreased appetite
Nausea or vomiting
Vomiting blood, or having black-colored bowel movements
Feeling more tired than usual – This happens if people with gastritis get a condition called "anemia."
Should I call my doctor or nurse? — Call your doctor or nurse if:
You have belly pain that gets worse or doesn't go away
You vomit blood or have black bowel movements
You are losing weight (without trying to)
Will I need tests? — Probably. Your doctor or nurse will ask about your symptoms and do an exam. they might also do:
An upper endoscopy – During this procedure, the doctor puts a thin tube with a camera on the end into your mouth and down into your stomach (figure 2). they will look at the inside of your stomach. During the procedure, they might also do a test called a biopsy. For a biopsy, the doctor takes a small sample of the stomach lining. Then another doctor looks at the sample under a microscope.
Tests to check for H. pylori infection. These can include:
•Blood tests
•Breath tests – These tests measure substances in your breath after you drink a special liquid.
•Tests on a small sample of your bowel movement
A barium swallow – Your doctor will give you a drink called "barium." Then they will take an X-ray as the barium moves through your stomach.
Blood tests to check for anemia
How is gastritis treated? — Treatment depends on what's causing your gastritis.
For example, if NSAIDs are causing your gastritis, your doctor will recommend that you not take those medicines. If alcohol is causing your gastritis, they will recommend that you stop drinking alcohol.
Doctors can use medicines to treat gastritis caused by an H. pylori infection. Most people take 3 or more medicines for 2 weeks. The treatment includes antibiotics plus medicine that helps the stomach make less acid.
Doctors can use medicines that reduce or block stomach acid to treat other causes of gastritis (table 1). The main types of medicines that reduce or block stomach acid are:
Surface agents
Histamine blockers
Proton pump inhibitors
If your doctor recommends acid-reducing treatment, they will tell you which medicine to use.
What happens after treatment? — Sometimes, people who are treated for an H. pylori infection need follow-up tests to make sure the infection is gone. Follow-up tests include breath tests, lab tests on a sample of bowel movement, or endoscopy.
All topics are updated as new evidence becomes available and our peer review process is complete.
This topic retrieved from UpToDate on: Mar 30, 2020.
Topic 16944 Version 6.0
Release: 28.2.2 - C28.105
© 2020 UpToDate, Inc. and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved.

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