Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What does it mean if I have H. pylori?"
I tested positive for H. pylori. Is it okay to have this in your gut or will it do bad things to me? My doctor did not seem very concerned but I am def a worrier.
Helicobacter pylori is a bacteria that lives in the stomach. Infection with Helicobacter pylori is very common, and many people who are infected are asymptomatic. However, there are several conditions that can be associated with Helicobacter pylori infection. In particular, Helicobacter pylori reduces the stomach's natural defense mechanisms against digestive acids, leading to chronic inflammation of the stomach, called gastritis, and putting you at risk for developing a stomach ulcer. There are two different tests for Helicobacter pylori infection. The first is a blood test, and that is less useful because it only shows that you have been infected in the past but doesn't mean you are currently infected. A fecal sample test, on the other hand, shows active infection with the bacteria. If you have a positive fecal sample test for Helicobacter pylori, especially if you are having symptoms such as bad heartburn or stomach pain, then you should probably be treated with antibiotics to eliminate the infection. Without eliminating the infection, there is not way to guarantee that your symptoms will improve. I suggest that you talk again with the doctor that performed the testing for you, and discuss the option of treatment to eliminate the infection. Good luck!
Need more info?See a gastroenterologist today
Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.