‘H. pylori’ is short for Helicobacter pylori, a type of bacterium that is present in the stomach. This bacterium is also classified as a gram-negative and micro-aerophilic type which may or may not cause symptoms to people infected with it. In fact, most people that have h. pylori found in their stomachs do not actually experience any symptoms which is why some people believe that this bacterium is actually essential in the normal ecology of the stomach. For people that experience symptoms, though, it is mainly due the bacterium’s penetration of the stomach lining that is filled with mucus. When the mucosal lining of the stomach is infected, inflammation can easily occur, and it may lead to weakening of the lining itself and production of excess acids in the stomach. Over time, these effects will further damage the stomach and may even lead to ulcerations and stomach cancer.
Symptoms of H. pylori infection are usually attributed to the inflammatory changes inside the stomach, otherwise known as gastritis. Some symptoms also occur because of ulcerations in various parts of the stomach. With these conditions, people may initially suffer from pain in the abdominal area or the region below the rib cage. Most people also notice the pain when the stomach is empty, and this pain may be relieved after eating or taking medicines to combat the stomach’s acids.
Aside from abdominal pain, some people may also experience loss of appetite or develop a sense of being bloated. When there is a loss of appetite, there is also a tendency for some people to lose weight because of H. pylori infection. Some people may also burp a lot when infected with H. pylori in the stomach while others will get nausea and vomit easily after ingesting food. For severe pain, blood in the vomit, or very dark stools, people are advised to seek medical attention for proper management and care.