Can H. Pylori Ulcer Pain Continue After Treatment?

Ask the experts

I had helicobactor pylori, I took the eradication treatment, however I still suffer from stomach pain, and various episodes heartburn. Do you recommend omeprazole, or do you think my conditio is cancerous? Daily I take famodine 40 mg. (for 2 weeks).

Doctor's response

The treatment of H. pylori is not always successful, and one may have a recurrence of the bacterial infection and the ulcer. There also can be another cause for the ulcer not healing such as continued smoking of cigarettes or taking certain ulcer-causing drugs like NSAIDs (ibuprofen, Motrin, naprosyn, aspirin etc.). Another possibility is that symptoms may not even be due to an ulcer (ulcers are common and frequently do not cause symptoms), and, therefore, eradication of H. pylori will be of no benefit. A complete evaluation by your physician or a gastroenterologist to exclude other potential causes of abdominal pain such as esophageal reflux, gallstones, pancreas disease, irritable bowel, etc. will be appropriate.

While most duodenal ulcers are benign (not cancerous), rare stomach (gastric) ulcers can be cancerous. Doctors usually perform biopsy (obtain small tissue samples to examine under a microscope) from gastric ulcers during upper endoscopy to exclude cancer. Doctors also request repeat upper endoscopy after several weeks of medication treatment of gastric ulcer to document complete ulcer healing. If the gastric ulcer is not completely healed, biopsy is repeated to exclude cancer.

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Last Editorial Review: 1/11/2018