videos & articles

informative video classes with notes

"knowledge is power. Learn how your body works."

  • Team BLC

Your Stomach Issues May Be Due to This Tiny Parasite


Have you heard of Helicobacter Pylori? Research tells us that this ancient bacteria may actually be beneficial for some, but for others, it causes digestive symptoms that range from miserable to lethal.


An active H. Pylori infection can go unnoticed for years, so uncovering this crafty bacteria early is the key to avoiding complications down the road. The good news is that H. Pylori is relatively simple to treat once it has been diagnosed. With the help of your doctor, you can combat this tricky bug and restore your gut to ideal functioning.



What Is H. Pylori?


Helicobacter Pylori is a small, spiral-shaped bacteria often seen in the gut. This unassuming bug is quite common and often asymptomatic. It can even be considered a “normal” member of the gut flora. However, when your gut balance is off and H.Pylori proliferate unchecked, it can lead to disastrous results such as ulcers and even cancer.


A Very Common Bacteria

While widespread, many people aren’t aware they have Helicobacter Pylori. Its asymptomatic nature makes it very easy for it to hide. Many times the infection occurs in childhood and persists untreated. It is estimated that up to 50% of people have H. Pylori in their gut. (In developing countries, this number jumps even higher — up to 70%.)



What Damage can H. Pylori Cause?


Beneath the surface, H. Pylori causes chronic low-grade inflammation in the lining of the digestive system it inhabits. Eventually, this inflammation (called gastritis) starts causing symptoms such as an upset stomach, pain, hiccups, or belching.


Peptic Ulcer

In 10-15% of cases, an H. Pylori infection can develop into a gastric (aka peptic) ulcer. Symptoms of a gastric ulcer include:


● Dull, sharp, or burning pain in the abdomen

● Nausea and vomiting

● Weight loss


Stomach Cancer

This pervasive bacteria is uniquely capable of causing cancer growth. Infections of H. Pylori are the single greatest risk factor for developing gastric cancer. MALT lymphoma (a lymphatic cancer associated with the mucous membrane of the stomach) is also a major concern.


Long Term Health Consequences of H. Pylori

Our bodies respond to an H. Pylori attack by creating inflammation. In some cases, this inflammatory response can lead to insulin resistance, iron-deficiency anemia, or heart disease.


Through this inflammatory process, H. Pylori has also been linked to leaky gut, skin diseases, obesity, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.




How Do You Get H. Pylori?


Kissing

For many, H. Pylori transmission occurs orally. The infection is transferred by sharing unwashed utensils or kissing (called an “oral-oral route of transmission”). Sexual transmission is also possible.


Contaminated Water

Another method of transmission is water that has been contaminated with fecal matter and is unknowingly swallowed - this can happen when swimming in lakes or streams.


Animals

Interestingly, H. Pylori is a zoonotic bacteria; it can be transmitted from animals to humans. Sheep, goats, cows, and cats can transfer the infection via both milk and feces.


No matter the cause, it’s important to resolve an H. Pylori infection to avoid further complications. If you’re concerned you may have H. Pylori, reach out to your doctor for testing.



Testing for H. Pylori


There are several ways to test for H. Pylori:

● Urea breath test

● Stool antigen test

● Scope test and biopsy

● Blood testing


Breath Testing

The urea breath test is the most common method of diagnosing an H. Pylori infection. Carbon molecules are placed in a liquid, pill, or pudding solution and ingested by the patient. If Helicobacter pylori are present, the tagged carbon is released by the bacteria’s urease enzymes during digestion. The carbon is then detectable in your breath.


Stool Testing

A stool antigen test can determine if H. Pylori antigens are present in your digestive tract. (An antigen is a foreign particle that stimulates our immune system.) There are numerous types of stool tests, but it is important to make sure that your antigen test specifically confirms the presence of H. Pylori bacteria.


While a urea breath test or stool antigen test are preferred for detecting H. Pylori, there are other methods:


Biopsy

Your doctor can take a biopsy after placing a scope into your digestive tract. This small sample of tissue is then sent to a lab for investigation. While invasive, a biopsy can definitively diagnose H. Pylori.


Blood

Blood testing is the least effective method of uncovering or keeping track of an ongoing H. Pylori infection. This is because our immune system develops antibodies to fight antigens that remain in the blood long after the infection clears.


So a blood sample can’t distinguish between previous infections or a current case of H. Pylori.



How Does H. Pylori Survive?


H. Pylori Alters Stomach Acidity

H. Pylori is a hardy bacteria that has adapted to survive by changing the high acidity of the stomach. The urease enzyme released by H. Pylori (mentioned above) alters your stomach acid to create a more favorable environment. By reducing this acidity, thereby reducing how effective the stomach is at initiating the digestive process, the bacteria can survive comfortably in your gut.


H. Pylori Burrows Into the Gut Lining

H. Pylori is also mobile. A long whip-like tail — called a flagellate — helps the bacteria careen toward the gut lining. Once it lands, this acidophilic (acid-loving) bacteria burrows deep into the lining of the stomach and locks in place, quickly colonizing the gut lining.



How Does H. Pylori Spread In the Body?


From the safety of the gut lining, H. Pylori releases toxins. These toxins attack and kill stomach cells. But the bacteria doesn’t stop there. It detaches from its previous position and migrates forward to kill more cells. One by one, holes begin to form in the gut lining.


Our immune system notices and fights back. This leads to more inflammation and gut damage.


While H. Pylori largely inhabits the lower portion of the stomach (the antrum), it can also make its way to the intestines. The duodenum, the first portion of the small intestine that is closest to the stomach, is often affected.



How Do You Treat H. Pylori?


Step 1: See Your MD

It can be tricky to treat an H. Pylori infection as this bacteria is very adaptable. To combat the potential for resistance, a cocktail of multiple antibiotics under the supervision of your medical doctor is usually necessary. Treatment varies considerably depending on whether the infection has progressed to peptic ulcers or other gastric issues.


Step 2: Once H. Pylori is Gone, the Healing Starts

Once you have successfully eradicated the problem, it is vital to do the necessary work to bring your body back into balance. A Functional Doctor can help you to replenish your gut microbiome after the heavy antibiotic treatment.


Your practitioner is also well equipped to help soothe and heal the damage H. Pylori may have caused to the lining of your stomach and small intestine, as well as uncovering and addressing any auto-immune issues that may have developed.


If you suspect you have H. Pylori, don’t hesitate to contact your health care professional. Working in conjunction with your medical doctor and functional medicine doctor is your best line of defense for eradicating the bacteria and preventing serious damage.




References:


Bravo D, Hoare A, Soto C, Valenzuela MA, Quest AF. Helicobacter pylori in human health and disease: Mechanisms for local gastric and systemic effects. World J Gastroenterol. 2018;24(28):3071-3089. doi:10.3748/wjg.v24.i28.3071


Diaconu S, Predescu A, Moldoveanu A, Pop CS, Fierbințeanu-Braticevici C. Helicobacter pylori infection: old and new. J Med Life. 2017;10(2):112-117.


Ghasemian Safaei, Hajieh & Rahimi, Ebrahim & Zandi, Ashkan & Rashidipour, Alireza. (2011). Helicobacter pylori as a zoonotic infection: The detection of H. pylori antigens in the milk and faeces of cows. Journal of research in medical sciences : the official journal of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences. 16. 184-7.


Parikh NS, Ahlawat R. Helicobacter Pylori. [Updated 2020 Aug 10]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020 Jan.



Natural medicine meets cutting-edge science to dig deeper and provide answers as to why you don’t feel well. We hear you. We see you. We believe you – it isn’t all in your head and we’ve got the technique and labs to show why. Body Love Cafe is a safe place to share your struggles, ask questions and look deeper for answers typically overlooked by conventional medicine. With a focus on “why” is this happening and “what” can be done to get to the root cause, the Body Love Cafe practitioners are trained to think differently. This type of care creates a partnership between the patient/client and practitioner to best facilitate results and overall wellness. This means we actually listen and customize our protocols. Our team includes Functional Medicine, Nutrition, Bodywork/Massage, Chiropractic, Acupuncture, Health Coaching & Energy Medicine.  It all started after our founder after she suffered a “mystery illness” that left her declared permanently disabled. Unwilling to accept that diagnosis, she fought back to regain her health and then launched Body Love Cafe, our holistic health clinic in Walnut Creek, CA which recently won “Best of the Bay” by Diablo magazine for 2020. In short, “we figure out why you feel like crap but your MD says you’re fine.” Visit our website to learn more: www.BodyLoveCafe.com or contact us at Team@BodyLoveCafe.com.


"health is the real wealth. invest wisely."

Body Love Cafe Functional Medicine Thyroid Health

What Is Functional Medicine?

It's an approach to health that looks at the WHOLE patient vs just symptoms. Top to bottom holistic care, from inside to out, including body, mind & soul.

Body Love Cafe Chiropractic Massage Acupunctue

What Body Love Cafe Offers

A variety of practitioners serving patients in Functional Health, Nutrition, Chiropractic, Therapeutic Massage, Acupuncture, Physical Therapy, Emotional Healing, & more... 

Body Love Cafe Free Classes Adrenal Fatigue

Amazing Classes for Everyone

We provide informative & entertaining education on Thyroid Health, Adrenal Health, Heart Health, ADHD, Brain Health, Digestion, Gut Health, Mental Health & more...

"serving hands-on healing"

"...my daughter developed some health issues...I immediately brought her to BLC and the team was ever so compassionate, patient, and helpful in treating her stomach issues...  

 

As a parent, I am so grateful for

the help and continued support

in achieving the best health

for my daughter." 

— Kristina C.

"Dr. Zachary is very knowledgeable in alignment with the body and herbs and supplements ... for optimum health.

 

David is amazing with his healing hands of massage...the best massage therapist I have ever had. I highly recommend Body Love Cafe"

—Laurie H.

"love your body. heal your mind. feed your soul."

"health is not valued until sickness comes."

BANNER FOR WEBSITE STRIP AT BOTTOM.png
Stay current with us

2872 Ygnacio Valley Rd., Ste. #440

Walnut Creek, CA 94598

925.788.6300

  • Yelp Social Icon
  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Instagram
Statements not evaluated by FDA, not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Body Love Cafe, A Zachary Chiropractic Corporation

©2019 by Brandy Zachary, DC, IFMCP