Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a gram-negative bacterium that is usually found in the stomach. Some experts believe that the bacterium may play an important role in the ecology of the stomach, and that the helical shape of the bacterium may have evolved to penetrate the mucoid lining of the stomach. It was first identified in 1982 by Australian scientists Barry Marshall and Robin Warren, who discovered that those infected also suffer from chronic gastritis or gastric ulcers. Previously, both these conditions were not believed to be due to microbial causes.
H. pylori has also been linked to the development of stomach cancer and duodenal ulcers. However, about 80 percent of infected individuals are asymptomatic. Currently, approximately 50 percent of the global population have H. pylori in the upper gastrointestinal tract. Infection seems to be more common in developing countries compared to developed countries.
H Pylori Symptom #1: Gastritis
Gastritis is inflammation of the stomach lining. While many infected individuals may never experience any symptoms of an H. pylori infection, an acute infection may manifest as acute gastritis. It can have either a short or long duration. Associated symptoms include upper abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, bloating, weight loss, and loss of appetite.
Other causes of gastritis include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), alcohol, smoking, radiation therapy, and Crohn’s disease. Many patients take antacids for relief.