Can H. pylori be passed from person-to-person?
The medical system seems to think H. pylori can only be acquired through tainted water and food. I believe this is false.
The research I dug up when writing The H. Pylori Diet clearly shows that H. pylori can be passed between people. I have also referred entire family members for stool testing and found H. pylori in several, and even all, members.
Familial transmission is probably one of the main reasons people re-acquire H. pylori after initially eradicating it. I always recommend family members are tested to stop this happening, even if they do not have symptoms.
H. pylori causes several common symptoms – heartburn, acid reflux, stomach pain, bloating and others. I call these “classic H. pylori symptoms”.
It can also cause constipation, loose stools and diarrhea, and other symptoms lower down your digestive system.
H. pylori is well known for being able to cause ulcers, both in your stomach and small intestine. If you are vomiting blood, or your vomit contains coffee-like grains, or if you have dark, tarry stools, you may have a bleeding ulcer and you must seek medical attention immediately.
What most doctors will not tell you, is that through decreasing stomach acid, creating nutrient deficiencies, and causing body-wide inflammation, H. pylori can cause fatigue, mood problems, skin symptoms, difficulty sleeping, reduced sex drive, aches and pains in your body, and so forth.
H.pylori is found with, or precedes, 80% MALT lymphoma and 90% adenocarcinoma cases. These are both forms of stomach cancer. It is wise to heed these statistics, but not to worry too much about them because a very small proportion of people infected with H. pylori will develop cancer, and other factors are probably involved.
As I explain in my book, H. Pylori: From Heartburn To Heart Attacks, H. pylori is strongly associated with high blood pressure, insulin resistance, inflammation and oxidative stress, all of which are heart disease risk factors. H. pylori also appears to increase the risk of angina, heart attack and stroke. It is not known how many people are at risk of developing heart trouble due to H. pylori and, again, other factors are definitely involved over and above H. pylori.
It’s important to note that certain H. pylori strains are more strongly associated with serious conditions. These strains are known as CagA and VacA, and it is possible to check whether you have one of these more dangerous strains using the H. Pylori Eradication Home Stool Test.
A blood test does not tell you that you have an active infection, it only proves you had an infection at some point in the past (usually within the last five years). It is important not to use the blood test for re-testing.
A breath test can be very helpful and can be done fairly quickly at the doctors’ office. It provides information about whether you have an active H. pylori infection. Research indicates that the breath test may not be ideal for children.
A stool test can either be done with your doctor, or using a home stool test kit. A stool test provides information about whether you have an active H. pylori infection.
All the H. pylori tests have shortcomings and none of them are 100% accurate, all the time, no matter what your doctor may tell you.
Our clients have benefited tremendously over the years from using home-based stool kits. In autumn 2014, we were able to introduce a truly cutting-edge home stool test that not only checks for H. pylori, but also different H. pylori strains – VacA and CagA, and antibiotic resistant strains.
This test is pioneering test that enables you to check whether you have the dangerous strains, and gives you guidance on which antibiotics to avoid if you want to safely eradicate H. pylori.
No. The scientific literature shows that H. pylori treatment fails for approximately 3 in 10 people (30%). This is generally due to particular H. pylori strains being resistant to the antibiotics.
Your solution is to ask your doctor to prescribe a different combination of antibiotics and try again, or to use a natural, herbal-based alternative such as the one I teach you in my book, H. Pylori Diet. Mastic gum, Matula Herbal Formula, Garlic, Broccoli Sprouts and other natural substances can be very helpful.
You can also run an H.Pylori Eradication Home Stool Test to check whether you have an antibiotic-resistant H. pylori strain.
If you’ve taken H. pylori treatment that has not worked, it is first important to ask what you mean by “not worked”.
By “not worked” do you mean that you have re-tested and H. pylori is still present? If so, it is important you understand that H. pylori treatment using triple therapy is hit and miss. The latest statistics show that standard triple therapy is only effective 70% of the time.
Or does it mean that your symptoms have not improved? If so, it is important for you to know that even when H. pylori has been eradicated, other factors can continue to cause your symptoms:
Your solutions are to:
The only way you can determine whether your treatment has eradicated H. pylori is to run a re-test, no sooner than 28 days after you have completed treatment. If your doctor is unwilling to do this for you, we can help you with our cutting-edge Comprehensive Home Stool Test.
First, do not use a blood test. Blood tests can remain positive for several years even after H. pylori has been eradicated.
Stool tests and breath tests are the two preferred “re-test” methods. Doctors do not always want to run re-tests for you so if you are struggling to get a re-test, check out the H. Pylori Eradication Home Stool Test.
The key to maintaining a healthy stomach and intestine is to maintain strong immune function. To do this, it is important to eat a clean, healthy diet, get plenty of sleep, move your body/exercise appropriately and manage your stress.
Medical H. pylori treatments don’t help with any of these factors, they just blitz the H. pylori bugs. What about the damage that may be left over from having the H. pylori bacteria there? Well, in functional medicine, we use a careful “5-R approach” to gut healing:
I am not saying everyone needs the 5-R approach to feel better, but if you want to truly optimise your digestive, immune and general health, the 5-R strategy is essential.