What are H. pylori symptoms?
Helicobacter pylori or H. pylori infection occurs when H. pylori bacteria infects the lining of the stomach. H. pylori are responsible for 80% of gastric ulcers and 90% of duodenal ulcers. H. pylori infection can continue throughout life without any symptoms. If H. pylori infection persists, it can cause:
Natural remedies have been effective in inhibiting the growth of H. pylori; however, they cannot completely eradicate the presence of H. pylori. Before trying out natural remedies, it is better to consult your doctor for their appropriateness. Natural remedies shouldn’t replace medical therapy and should be tried as alternative therapy only. Some of the natural remedies to treat H. pylori infection include:
- Green tea: It has proven to be effective in inhibiting the growth of H. pylori. Catechins present in the green tea are antioxidants that have antibacterial properties. Green tea consumed regularly prevents the inflammation of the stomach. Green tea, when consumed during infection, helps in reducing the severity of gastritis as well as the bacterial load.
- Garlic: Garlic, Allium sativum, has therapeutic properties that may help treat H. pylori infection. These effects are attributable to specific oil- and water-soluble organosulfur compounds such as thiosulfinates. H. pylori-related disease has an inverse relationship between garlic consumption and the incidence of gastric cancer.
- Red wine: Resveratrol present in red wine has been linked with some antibacterial activity. It leads to inhibition of the growth of H. pylori. Consuming red wine has been associated with limiting the damage of the stomach’s lining. Overall, red wine has exhibited a protective effect against H. pylori infection.
- Olive oil: Virgin olive oil or unrefined olive oil has a considerable amount of phenolic compounds. Phenolic compounds can remain stable for hours in the gastric juices. These compounds also show strong antibacterial properties against eight strains of H. pylori bacteria, three of which are resistant to some antibiotics.
- Probiotics: Probiotics are live microorganisms when administered in a sufficient amount, that can produce an array of health benefits in the consumer. It maintains a balance between good bacteria and harmful bacteria. Probiotics may help in the complete eradication of H. pylori bacteria. Besides, they may also improve the H. pylori gastritis as well as a reduction in bacterial load. As antibiotics destroy the good bacteria, the consumption of probiotics may replenish this loss. Long-term consumption of probiotics may be useful in reducing the complications of H. pylori infection.
- Honey: Honey has been associated with antibacterial activity against H. pylori and few other bacteria. The antibacterial properties of honey can be attributed to:
- The osmotic effect due to its sugar content
- Hydrogen peroxide content
- Other substances derived from the flower
Most of the strains of H. pylori were destroyed using 20% strength of the honey. Honey isn’t a substitute for the standard therapy and shouldn’t be taken alone. Raw honey and Manuka honey may have the most antibacterial properties.
- Broccoli sprouts: Broccoli sprouts are rich in a compound known as isothiocyanate sulforaphane (SF). SF has strong antibacterial effects on H. pylori bacteria and also reduces gastric inflammation. Studies have shown that broccoli sprouts reduce the H. pylori load; however, it doesn’t completely eradicate them. It also reduces cardiovascular risk factors.
- Licorice root: Licorice roots have been effective in killing H. pylori bacteria. They also prevent adhesion of H. pylori to the stomach cell walls.
- Phototherapy: H. pylori contain a substance that makes it susceptible to inactivation by light. Phototherapy has shown a significant reduction in bacterial count in the stomach. Its use is safe in the stomach.
Also, some studies have shown that white vinegar and cranberry juice may be useful in reducing H. pylori infection. But these aren’t a substitute for the standard treatment regimen.
The standard treatment of H. pylori infection includes a combination of antibiotics and acid-reducing medications. Acid-reducing medications include:
- Proton pump inhibitors
- Histamine blockers
- Bismuth subsalicylate
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