H. pylori (Helicobacter Pylori ) Infection

  • Medical Author:
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

  • Medical Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Quick GuideDigestive Disorders: Common Misconceptions

Digestive Disorders: Common Misconceptions

What are the symptoms of H. pylori infections?

Most individuals infected with H. pylori have few or no symptoms. Some may experience a few symptoms from mild gastritis episodes, for example,

  • minor belching,
  • bloating,
  • nausea,
  • vomiting, and
  • abdominal discomfort.

Often, these symptoms simply go away. However, those individuals who have more serious infection experience signs and symptoms of stomach and duodenal ulcers or severe gastritis which include:

  • Abdominal pain and/or discomfort that usually does not wax and wane
  • Nausea and vomiting sometimes with blood that is red or the color is like coffee grounds like vomitus
  • Dark or tar-like stools (black color of feces due to bleeding ulcers)
  • Fatigue
  • Low red blood cell count due to bleeding
  • Full feeling after consuming a small amount of food
  • Decreased appetite that is more constant

Other symptoms may include:

If a person has symptoms of black, tarry stools and fatigue they should immediate seek medical help or go to an emergency department to be evaluated for intestinal bleeding.

Reviewed on 6/28/2016
References
REFERENCES:

Cancer.gov. Helicobacter pylori and Cancer. Reviewed Sep 5, 2013
<http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/infectious-agents/h-pylori-fact-sheet>

Chey, W. et al. "American College Gastroenterology Guideline on the management of Helicobacter pylori Infection." Amer. J. Gastro, 102:1808-1825, 2007.
<http://s3.gi.org/physicians/guidelines/ManagementofHpylori.pdf>

FDA. FDA approves first Helicobacter pylori breath test for children. Feb 24, 2014
<http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm293278.htm>

Santacroce, L. "Helicobacter Pylori Infection." Medscape. Sep 11, 2014.
<http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/176938-overview>

Crowe, S. MD., et al. "Patient information: Helicobacter pylori infection and treatment (Beyond the Basics)." UpToDate. Oct 08, 2015.
<http://www.uptodate.com/contents/helicobacter-pylori-infection-and-treatment-beyond-the-basics>

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