Bacteria surrounds us both inside and out. To minimize our exposure to it we know we should wash our hands, cook food properly, rinse produce, and not share a drink. Yet, despite our best efforts, bacteria does find its ways into our bodies. Helicobacter pylori, or H pylori as it is commonly called, is a bacteria that resides in our stomach. This bacteria was discovered in 1982 by Australian scientists, Barry Marshall and Robin Warren, as they conducted research on patients who suffered from gastritis and ulcers. While bacteria was known to inhabit the stomach, it was believed that it came about from contaminated food. Not so.
H pylori is found in more than half of the world’s population; however, a vast majority never experience any symptoms or complications. However, how would you know if you were suffering from this type of bacterial infection? Below are several symptoms associated with an H pylori infection:
- Loss of appetite
- Frequent burping
- Abdominal pain that becomes worse when your stomach is empty
- Weight loss
- An ache or burning in your abdomen
To determine if you have an infection, a simple stool test can provide the answers. Unfortunately, most medical doctors will prescribe antibiotics which destroy the delicate balance of the gut. They will also be given prescription acid reducers because of the heartburn. This, too, is a problem, as it creates an environment that allows the H pylori to thrive. At Damron Chiropractic & Wellness (DCW), after conducting the stool test, a course of natural/herbal supplements is recommended to help kill the bacteria.
In addition to an infection, studies are correlating H pylori with an increased chance of developing ulcers, gastritis, and even cancer. A recent study also found a connection with the heart condition atrial fibrillation, or AF. This disorder affects over 2 million Americans and causes the chambers of the heart to flutter or quiver rather than beat. Blood then pools in the chamber, increasing the potential for clots to develop. If the clot finds itself lodged in a brain artery, a stroke can occur. In this particular study, individuals were 20 times more likely to show levels of H pylori.