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H pylori reinfection – can H pylori return?

“Dave, can H pylori return? Can H pylori come back? Can I have H pylori twice?”

… These are common questions asked by folk around the world, and the straight answer is, “Yes, it can return, you can have it twice, and yes you can be reinfected.”

Anyone who tells you otherwise is wrong, and the reason I know this is because I had H pylori twice myself.

Two years after I had rid myself of H pylori, I woke up one morning with a gnawing pain in my chest.

I KNEW immediately (and intuitively) that H pylori had come back and, sure enough, a stool test proved it.

This videos explains how H pylori can return in a little detail, and the article is continued underneath.

Why can H pylori return?

H pylori reinfection happens because your body does not develop immunity to the bacterium.

It’s not like some of the childhood infectious diseases where you’re told “if you have it once, you can’t get it again”.

Furthermore, despite scientists’ attempts to create an H pylori vaccine, no such drug has yet been developed.

Under what circumstances can H pylori return?

It’s well known among naturopaths and other alternative health practitioners that if one person in a household if infected by H pylori, other family or household members can also be infected.

In clinical practice I see this time and time again.

The trouble is that H pylori doesn’t cause symptoms in everyone, so let’s set the scene (this is a real life example from a family I worked with a few years ago).

Joyce has a whole bunch of digestive symptoms, but her husband, Colin, did not. Their daughter also had symptoms.

They all did a stool test like this one.

All three of them tested positive for H pylori, and both Joyce and her daughter tested positive for the Blastocystis hominis parasite.

This certainly isn’t an isolated case – I’ve seen H pylori in different household members on many occasions.

When more than one person in the household has H pylori, it can be passed from person-to-person.

Kissing, sexual contact and possibly even sharing eating and drinking utensils can lead to H pylori transmission between people because H pylori has been found in the mouth and vaginal tract.

Dr William Timmins even claimed to have isolated H pylori in semen!

Can H pylori return because of stress?

Another little known fact about H pylori is that stress can actually result in increased H pylori populations and possibly changes in H pylori virulence.

Certain hormones are made when you’re stressed, including CRH and noradrenaline.

Scientists have observed that increased levels of hormones such adrenaline appear to stimulate the growth and spread of H pylori whilst making it more aggressive and likely to cause symptoms.

CRH changes immune function and digestive secretions, potentially making you more susceptible to digestive trouble.

Months or years after successful H pylori treatment, perhaps a small, dormant H pylori colony in your digestive system has been hanging around without causing symptoms.

Then, you have a period of stress in your life and develop symptoms related to increased growth and activity of H pylori.

It’s important to note that H pylori isn’t the only microbe to respond to stress hormones.

In fact, the list of potentially harmful bacteria and other microbes that respond to stress is pretty long, and includes:

Aeromonas, Campylobacter, Salmonella, Vibrio, Klebsiella and others.

How many times can H pylori return?

Theoretically, H pylori can come back many times.

Indeed, I’ve had the opportunity to work with several clients who’d been battling H pylori on and off for may years.

Their H pylori tests had shown positive, then negative, then positive – truly an “H pylori roller coaster” of a ride!

H pylori reinfection – it’s an illusion for some people…

H pylori can come back time and again, but it’s not the only thing that causes heartburn, reflux, bloating, burping, irritable bowels and so on.

Some people have symptoms because of other reasons.

Common foods, Candida, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, parasites, low stomach acid and other factors can all cause the same symptoms as H pylori.

I’ve seen a lot of cases where people thought H pylori had returned, only to find that changing their diet and running a stool test that found the other “bad bugs” brought the answer.

So please don’t assume that everything you’re feeling is down to H pylori alone.

How to prevent H pylori returning

This is the bit that doctors get wrong.

Antibiotics might kill H pylori but they do nothing to restore the health of your digestive and immune systems.

The way to prevent H pylori from returning is to adopt as healthy a lifestyle as possible and to follow the “4-R” gut healing protocol, which involves:

  1. Removing bad foods and bad bugs, and anything else that irritates your gut (you may need to run some tests to identify these factors)
  2. Restoring digestive function (taking steps to make sure you digest your food properly)
  3. Reinoculating with “good” bacteria using fermented foods, prebiotic or probiotic supplements
  4. Repairing your digestive lining using specific herbs and nutrients such as licorice, glutamine, curcumin, slippery elm, glutamine, zinc and vitamins B5, C, D and E, as needed

Getting some personalized advice…

If you figure you’d like some assistance with this, let us know as it’s what we do.

Check out some home stool testing options here.

If you’d prefer us to review your case and run a one-on-one consultation, check out your case review and consult options here.

Keeping H pylori away and regaining tip top health once it’s gone requires a little work, but I know because you’re reading this that you can do it!

I guess that’s all I have say for now – hope you enjoyed the info!



Over to you…

Did your H pylori come back? Have you had trouble overcoming your symptoms even though H pylori has gone?

We care, so let us know by leaving a comment below!

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