Peptic ulcer disease & H. Pylori

Peptic Ulcer Disease and H. pylori are interrelated. H. pylori, also known as Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium present in the stomach of many people, is the major cause behind peptic ulcer disease. A peptic ulcer is an open infection on the lining of the stomach or the duodenum.

Causes of Peptic Ulcer

As mentioned earlier, the Helicobacter pylori bacterium is the prime cause behind peptic ulcers. The bacterium damages the mucous coating protecting the stomach and the duodenum thereby leading to peptic ulcer. The damage caused by the bacterium exposes the sensitive lining of the stomach to stomach acids.  The bacterium and the stomach acid then together cause irritation to the area, which ultimately leads to the development of ulcers.

Symptoms of Peptic Ulcer

The most common symptom of peptic ulcer is abdominal discomfort. This discomfort is generally in the form of burning pain, which lasts for minutes to hours and is experienced between the navel and breastbone. Severe stomach pain, black or bloody stools or vomiting are some of the emergency symptoms of H. pylori-induced peptic ulcer.

Treatment for H pylori-induced peptic ulcer

H. pylori-induced peptic ulcers can be treated with the help of drugs, which reduce stomach acid, kill the harmful bacteria and act as a shield to the stomach and duodenal lining. Histamine receptor blockers (H2 blockers) and proton pump inhibitors are effective in reducing stomach acid. These also help in reducing pain and expedite the process of healing.

Another treatment is the Bismuth quadruple therapy. The patient needs to take a bismuth subsalicylate, metronidazole, proton pump inhibitors and tetracycline for a period of 10-14 days. This treatment is often used by patients who are allergic to penicillin, have taken a prior treatment with clarithromycin or are still infected with H. pylori after undergoing an ineffective triple therapy treatment.