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Do “Helicobacters” play a role in Crohn’s Disease?

It is, of course, well known that H pylori causes gastritis, stomach ulcers and duodenal ulcers. We also know that H pylori symptoms extend well beyond the digestive tract. For example, if you have read my book or other articles on this website, you’ll know that H pylori infection is associated with a wide variety of complaints such as liver disorders, migraine, fatigue and heart disease.

Given that members of the Helicobacter family colonize the intestinal mucus layer, it has been suggested they may play a role in Crohn’s disease (CD), which is a nasty inflammatory bowel disorder. This possible link has been explored a small handful of studies, including one carried out by Kaakus and colleagues.

Their aim was to investigate the presence of Helicobacter species DNA in biopsies from children with Crohn’s disease compared to a controlgroup and to identify the species present.

Intestinal biopsies were collected from 179 children undergoing colonoscopy of whom 77 were newly diagnosed Crohn’s disease and 102 controls. Helicobacter DNA was detected using PCR techniques, the same methods used in the comprehensive digestive testing we use to assess our clients’ digestive health.
32 children with Crohn’s disease (41. 5%) were positive for Helicobacter organism DNA, which was significantly higher that controls (22.5%). The DNA tests identified H pylori as well a range of other Helicobacter organisms:

  • Helicobacter ganmani
  • Helicobacter bilis
  • Helicobacter canis
  • Helicobacter hepaticus
  • Helicobacter trogontum

The prevalence of “non-pylori” Helicobacter organisms was higher in the Crohn’s disease patients than controls. All children were proven negative for gastric H pylori (i.e. they did not have H pylori in their stomachs). Instead, the Crohn’s disease patients had H pylori strains clustered alongside other

Helicobacter species in the intestine, gall bladder and liver.

In other words, the Crohn’s disease patients had H pylori areas of their digestive systems that most doctors won’t tell you about.

Reference
N. O. Kaakous et al. Do members of the Helicobacteraceae play a role in Crohn’s Disease? European Helicobacter Study Group. XXIII International Workshop on Helicobacter and Related Bacteria in Chronic Digestive Inflammation and Gastric Cancer. Rotterdam, September 16–18, 2010. P.315.
Dave Hompes’ Comments

I’ve known for some time that H pylori is not just a stomach bug. In my book I present research proving H pylori lives in other areas of the digestive system and may even get into the general circulation and spread round the body. The late Dr. Bill Timmins isolated H pylori from semen and several studies have detected H pylori DNA in the arterial plaque of heart disease patients.

I personally believe that H pylori causes gall bladder problems and the fact that it appears to be able to live in the gall bladder and liver ducts may explain why H pylori treatments fail in some people.

In the context of this study, it may be that H pylori plays a role in Crohn’s disease, but more research will be needed to confirm this. We must also not forget that H pylori is not the only Helicobacter – there are other species that seem to cause problems in humans.

Furthermore, Helicobacters themselves comprise only one group of “bad bugs” that can inhabit our guts. Other bacteria such as Clostridium difficile, Campylobacter, Vibrio and Yersinia can all cause problems and are frequently detected in our comprehensive stool tests alongside fungal overgrowth and parasites such as hookworm, Blastocystis, Cryptosporidium and Giardia.

I have a strong suspicion that some of these other bad bugs may also contribute to Crohn’s disease and colitis but unfortunately, western medicine hasn’t really cottoned on to the fact that these bugs cause chronic inflammatory disorders in the intestine and so treatment usually focuses on steroid prescriptions to control the inflammation rather than trying to find the root cause of the inflammation itself.

Recommendations That May Help You Overcome H Pylori & Its Symptoms

• If you have Helicobacter pylori and want to learn more about it without staring at a computer screen for hours on end, all the information on this website, as well as detailed diet and supplement program for healing your digestive system can be found in my book, The H Pylori Diet.

• If you would like one-to-one, discreet, personalized support from one of the Hompes Method team, please click here. Ever since I was diagnosed with H pylori in 2007 – having eradicated it using diet changes, herbs and nutritional supplements – it has been my mission to help people like you around the world understand and overcome health challenges using an integrated health approach. Where possible we work closely with the medical profession to combine the best of conventional medicine with our cutting edge clinical nutrition and functional medicine techniques. It is our hope that we can help you achieve your health related goals.

If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact us by using the web-form, below.

In love and light,

Dave Hompes & The Hompes Method team

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