Note: This is a signs and symptoms page if you are looking for how to treat h pylori then read this page on my blog.
Before you check my comprehensive list containing signs and symptoms of h pylori. I strongly suggest you watch the video done by Eric Bakker below.
Although only 15% of people who are infected with H Pylori will develop signs and symptoms, the majority, rather unsurprisingly, are linked to gastrointestinal problems. However other issues can occur the more commonly known being ulcers and the less frequently mentioned is the production of excess gastrin. Gastrin is a hormone the release of which is triggered by the pH of the stomach acid. If it is too alkaline then more acid is released and, since H pylori turns its localized environment alkaline there is a small chance that gastrin secretion is increased because of it. Too much gastrin can be extremely problematic and so it is recommended that gastrin levels in patients with H pylori are checked. However very few clinicians employ this particular test.
When it comes to specifics however, most often patients will, after suffering from infestation of this bacteria for many years, produce symptoms of digestive disturbance. These can include, bloating, indigestion, increased belching, stomach pain and nausea. Sometimes these will be accompanied by the unpleasant regurgitation of food – that distressing moment when you belch and think you are going to suddenly relieve yourself of lunch.
Of course H pylori are most notable for resulting in stomach or duodenal ulcers, however not all people with the bacteria will end up suffering from ulcers, despite the fact that conversely most people with ulcers do suffer from the bacteria. In fact only a small percentage of people who are known to have an infestation of H pylori actually suffer from any symptoms at all, but there is certainly more research to be undertaken in this region particularly when it comes to the earlier indications of possible future problems.
It used to be thought that an overindulgence in spicy foods together with stress and high stomach acid levels were guilty of causing ulcers, however this kind of thinking is now consigned to the history books. However not all ulcers are caused by H pylori. There are some people who have ulcers but do not have the bacteria. In these cases it is believed that the damage to the stomach and intestines is done by modern pharmaceuticals and pain relievers in particular. Although no one is absolutely certain it is thought that most H pylori infections are contracted during childhood although it can be contracted by adults. Yet the damage that the bacteria do usually takes years to manifest as symptoms which is why it is more common for adults to report problems than children.
Distinguishing Between Symptoms
The symptoms which might indicate that someone has a H pylori infection are multiple but there are several which are quite distinctive. Unfortunately though these are often not distinguishable when they arise from digestive disturbance due to H pylori or through ulcers arising from the damage. To give you some idea of the issues involved here are some symptoms which are indicative of H pylori but can involve either digestive damage or ulcers which arise because of the damage:
- Feeling full a lot of the time even though you haven’t eaten
- Dull sensations in stomach
You can see from these symptoms how they can correspond with the signs of Candida and how difficult it is to separate them from each condition.
Yet when it comes to definitive indications of an ulcer then signs of blood leaking from the sores assist in making a diagnosis. When this happens you have signs of internal bleeding which include stools that are very dark or deep red in color. Sometimes stools will though be of a normal color but streaked with red. The skin pallor will also be pale and any vomit may also either contain blood or will look like coffee grounds. Other signs of an ulcer are very sharp stomach pains with dizziness and difficulty in taking breaths. Often when ulcers are leaking and there are no signs of blood, extreme fatigue will present and give an indication as to the problem. Most people who are suffering internal damage whether they have an ulcer or not, will also have a steady weight loss problem which has no discernible cause.
One of the more rare conditions arising from H pylori is the development of stomach cancer. This does not, as previously thought, stem from ulcers but, more likely, from inflammation of the stomach lining and mucosa. Although patients with stomach cancer will produce the more common symptoms of gastric disturbance they often also show signs of swelling in the stomach region, gastric pain and unexplained weight loss.
It must be remembered however that only a small proportion of patients who test positive for H pylori develop stomach cancer. In 95% of stomach cancer patients it evolves due to different, and often unknown, causes.