Recently, I’ve been having really bad heartburn and stomach pain. Because I’m a doctor, I self diagnosed an infection of H. Pylori, a bacteria that is not totally uncommon in the population and infects an estimated 50% of the population and is contagious to others. So I immediately decided I wanted a stool analysis to determine not only H. Pylori but how the rest of my gut was doing as well. Because if I have to take antibiotics I also want to know my candida levels as well as my other bacteria. So my first question on my mind was of course how did I get it? Most likely a family member that I kissed or shared a drink with had it and I caught it. The fact is our bodies get assaulted by germs and bacteria on an almost daily basis and when everything is working in homeostasis in your body, we can usually fight off these infections and we beat the germs often. However, when the bacteria overwhelms the system, we do get sick or we(I) get an infection. Here are the most common symptoms:
Burning stomach pain
Nausea and Vomiting
Stool can be dark or even black
Worse pain on an empty stomach
The treatment is a triple antibiotic treatment that often comes with some symptoms of die off that can make a person very sick during the first days of treatment. Management of those symptoms is usually either Tums or Pepto-Bismol and sometimes both products. The real hard part will come after you are done with the 14 day antibiotic course when you need to prevent a new infection from coming on. The biggest challenge after the antibiotics is avoiding a yeast (dysbiosis) infection. There is a very slight chance of re-infection of H.Pylori but this is rare. Antibiotics kill good bacteria also which makes you more susceptible. So I did something during my treatment to prevent this and here is a list of those things:
Took saccharomyces boulardii 2 caps daily to help the gut have some probiotics. Saccharomyces is not a bacteria but a beneficial yeast probiotic so antibiotics don’t kill it.
E3 suppositories to nourish vaginal lining to prevent a yeast infection which women are especially prone to.
High intensive probiotic and yes antibiotics will destroy these but they help control bowel issues.
So if you worry that you have any of these symptoms I recommend doing a stool analysis over the basic breath test so you can actually get a whole picture of your GI tract not just whether or not you have H. Pylori.