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H pylori transmission – how does H pylori infect you?

Hey, great to be back with you again to discuss H pylori transmission, or put simply, how H pylori got into your body.

Hopefully with this knowledge you’ll know how to avoid getting it again later, once you’ve knocked it out!

Now, are you wondering…

“How is H pylori transmitted?” or “How the heck did I catch H pylori?”

If so, you’re not alone because we’re asked questions about H pylori transmission a LOT, and with good reason.

In this blog post I’ll also show you some major pitfalls in western medicine’s attitude to H pylori, and why it’s important to know what specific strain of H pylori you have, not just whether you have H pylori.

If you have H pylori, it’s important to know why and how you picked it up, for a couple of reasons:

  • First, presumably you want to make sure you don’t pass H pylori to your loved ones?
  • Second, once you’ve eradicated H pylori, presumably you don’t want to pick it up again

I had H pylori twice, so I know for sure you can be reinfected, despite what your doctor may tell you.

I think I picked up the first infection from food while holidaying in Egypt back in 2004, and the second time I’m certain my girlfriend passed it to me (when I tested positive for H pylori a second time round, she also tested positive, and so did her brother).

I’ve taken a detailed look at the scientific literature, and some H pylori transmission routes include:

  • Kissing
  • Sexual contact
  • Contaminated water
  • Food
  • Pets (especially dogs and cats)
  • In hospital from medical instruments (perhaps during an endoscopy)

My video, below, explains H pylori transmission in a little more detail

Please make sure you watch it in full, then read the information below the video window.

H pylori transmission is NOT as simple as the video might suggest…

To be honest, H pylori transmission is a very grey area – is it even relevant any more?

Recent scientific findings indicate that:

  • Most people have H pylori
  • It’s been with us for millions of years
  • It may only cause problems when it grows way out of control, or…
  • …when you have specific H. pylori strains like CagA and VacA

So is transmission relevant, or is there more at play?

Do you pick H pylori somehow and then get ill, or is it always there?

Why does it cause problems in some people and not others – could something related to you or I dictate whether we get symptoms or not, even though we both might have H pylori?

What if YOU’RE the problem?

I know, I know… how DARE I suggest that you could be the problem when it comes to H pylori.

Before you bust me, please allow me to explain.

It’s a fact that H pylori might favour some people over others.

Certain conditions in your digestive system may make it easier for H pylori to cause problems.

Factors that might make it easier for H pylori to grow out of control and cause problems for you include:

  • Low stomach acid
  • Changes in digestive function when you’re stressed
    • (stress has been shown to increase the number of H pylori organisms in the stomach)
  • A suppressed immune system
  • Poor diet and foods that irritate your digestion, including gluten and cow’s milk
  • Your genetics

H pylori transmission revisited

As you can see, it’s not as clear cut as you might think.

If the majority of people carry H pylori, then perhaps we ought to think about working on making our own body healthy rather than focusing on nuking H pylori with antibiotics.

I do think we need to consider H pylori transmission routes to prevent infection and reinfection, but if we focus on optimising our own vitality, we’re far less likely to succumbing to H pylori’s effects.

When we coach our clients, we spend a lot of time making sure they’re bullet-proofing their digestive and immune systems.

Advanced H pylori tests your doctor won’t know about

When we run stool testing for our clients, we use an advanced technology that isn’t yet part of standard medical practice.

It’s FDA approved and has some significant advantages.

First, it looks for different H pylori strains, telling us whether you have what’s called a “virulent” H pylori strain

These strains are called CagA and VacA, and they have been shown in research to cause more symptoms and be associated with more serious diseases such as ulcers, stomach cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

The test result, below shows one of our clients with a positive (high) H pylori result, but not for the CagA or VacA strains.

Hpylori

Then, the next test result shows H pylori positive along with the VacA strain positive.

Hpylori2

Second, the stool tests we now use quantifies the H pylori level in your digestive system.

What does this mean?

Well it means that the result is not just a positive “YES, you have H pylori” or negative “NO, you don’t have H pylori”

Instead, you see how much H pylori there is.

This is important because the H pylori strain and quantity found in your stool sample, combined with your symptoms, helps your clinician guide your treatment options.

And that’s not all, when we test for H. pylori, we also look for many other things that could be making you feel unwell, including:

  • Candida and other fungal overgrowth
  • Parasites such as Giardia and Blastocystis hominis (the one I had)
  • Pathogenic bacteria like E. coli, Salmonella and Campylobacter
  • You normal flora or “good” bacteria levels (e.g. Lactobacillus, Bifidobacter)
  • Immune function
  • Gluten sensitivity
  • Ability to digest food

Whether you have H pylori or not, any one of the above factors could make you feel unwell.

My FREE Guide to Digestive Testing is a great resource if you’d like to learn more about the ins and outs of testing your digestive health.

It’s a short PDF ebook that will help you understand why your symptoms have come about, and how to finally end the confusion once and for all by running the right tests.

You can grab a copy here – it’s free.

H pylori transmission – a quick summary

Well, that’s all from me, for now!

Remember, H pylori is virtually everywhere.

If you don’t want to get reinfected, please pay attention to the H pylori transmission routes listed in this article and do your best to avoid them.

  • Careful who you kiss!
  • Get your loved ones tested for H pylori so they don’t reinfect you
  • Wash your hands when you
  • Drink clean water
  • Eat clean food (wash your salads properly and cook poultry properly)

But also remember that H pylori may end up coming back at some point anyway, and it might be the specific strain you have, or the health of YOUR digestive and immune systems that dictate whether or not the H pylori makes you feel unwell.

I hope this article and videos answer some of your questions about H pylori transmission, and how you can find out whether the strain you have is one of the nastier ones.

Now: we want to hear from you – how do you think you picked up H pylori?

Leave your thoughts in the comments section, below!

Til next time!

Dave H.

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