H pylori isn’t the same from one person to the next – pretty interesting, huh?
This short video explains why you have a completely unique relationship with H pylori and why it’s important not to be too confused by conflicting info on the Internet.
H pylori – enemy or not?
As you know, H pylori is called ‘the ulcer bug’ because it causes stomach and intestinal ulcers.
What’s confusing is that about 70% of people with H pylori don’t have any obvious symptoms.
The other 30% typically have a cluster of digestive symptoms like heartburn, bloating, belching, nausea and so on.
But there’s another set of people who don’t have digestive symptoms but do feel tired, anxious or depressed, have skin problems, migraines and other symptoms that clear up when H pylori is eradicated.
Others still might have potentially serious changes to their metabolism that increase diabetes, heart disease and stroke risk, AND cancer risk.
You are unique
We know H pylori has been with us for millions of years – it’s nothing new. So why do some people get symptoms whereas others don’t?
Well first (and this is so important I can’t even begin to explain), you have a unique genetic make up.
Genetically, you’re not the same as me and you’re not the same as anyone else.
Second, you have a unique set of behaviours: your nutrition, exercise levels, stress levels and so on.
When you put your genes and lifestyle together, you are 100%, totally and unarguably unique.
This means that even the same H pylori organisms can affect you differently from other people.
The H pylori gang
What most doctors – and maybe you – don’t know is that there are many different H pylori strains.
They are characterized by different virulence factors and they affect you in different ways.
Some of the most important virulence factors are:
This is complex, right?
Now, think about the fact that you are a unique human being.
There are lots of different H pylori strains that each have their own unique way of causing problems.
Is it any surprise that some people have H pylori symptoms, but some don’t?
And take a look at this statement, relating to the VacA H pylori strain:
“The s1, m1 strains can induce greater vacuolation, and are associated with peptic ulcer disease and gastric cancer in Western countries, but have no pathogenic role in East Asian countries. VacA i1 strains were associated with gastric cancer in Iranian patients, but not in the East Asian or Southeast Asian populations.”
So what this means is that the same H pylori strain has different effects on people in Western countries, East Asian countries and Middle Eastern countries.
You are unique.
There are different types of H pylori.
When you put all this together, you can see why there’s so much confusion around how dangerous H pylori is, the symptoms it causes, and how to get rid of it.
I feel it’s really important to know what H pylori strain you have, but the standard breath test, endoscopy, blood and even the stool tests only give you positive (yes you have H pylori) or negative (no you don’t have H pylori).
And they’re not always accurate!
But you CAN test for the CagA and VacA strains using a home stool test that runs DNA analysis.
It is able to tell you a) whether you have H pylori, b) whether you have CagA and c) whether you have VacA.
It’s also quantitative, which means you can see how much H pylori you have, or just whether it’s positive or negative, as you can see below:
AND you can see whether your H pylori is resistant to antibiotics like Clarithromycin, which is the main reason why treatments fail.
As an initial test it’s fantastic, and you can also use it as a re-test to check whether H pylori has gone following treatment.
This is really helpful if your doctor refuses to run retesting for you.
What’s more, if you want to expand the test to include analysis for parasites, Candida, gluten intolerance, viruses and lots of other bacteria, you can do that as well.
Just drop us a line if you’d like more info.
Stay tuned for tons more info over the next few days and remember we’re here to answer your questions (email firstname.lastname@example.org)