Helicobacter Pylori is a bacterium that can be very harmful to the stomach. These bacteria dwell in the digestive tract, attack the lining of the upper part of the intestine. These harmful activities can cause a stomach sore, which is commonly known as an ulcer. The spiral-shaped bacterium can cause harmful effects that most often lead to stomach cancer if not treated on time.

H PYLORI IN CHILDREN

Helicobacter Pylori affects and destroys the duodenum and the tissue in a child’s stomach, causing irritation and leaving a sore in the upper digestive tract.

CAUSES OF H PYLORI IN CHILDREN

  • Eating foods that were not hygienically prepared and have been exposed to a dirty environment.

  • Failure to wash the hands properly after going to the restroom.

Having this bacterium mostly happens during childhood, though adults can have it too at any age. Below are some of the complications of H Pylori infection in children.

  • A hole in the stomach wall.

  • Bleeding caused by a blood vessel being worn-out.

  • Blockage of food from leaving the stomach.

  • Stomach ulcer (gastritis and peptic ulcer).

Children with gastritis ulcer exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Nausea

  • Abdominal pain

  • Vomiting

While kids with peptic ulcer caused by H Pylori infection show the following symptoms:

  • Bloody stool

  • Bloody vomit

  • Bloating

  • Weakness

  • Constipation

Other symptoms may include; loss of appetite, weight loss, chronic heartburn, burning pain in the abdomen, etc.

To keep your child safe from infection, you need to help him/her keep clean, eat properly and neatly prepared foods, drink only clean water, and eat right. But once there are suspected symptoms of H Pylori, please consult your doctor.

IS H PYLORI CONTAGIOUS?

Helicobacter pylori is a highly contagious infection. Though research has not yet been proven if it is hereditary or not; but it can be spread through the following ways:

  • Oral contact like kissing (this involves saliva swapping), oral sex (fellatio), etc.

  • Consuming contaminated foods and drinks.

  • Coming in contact with an infected person’s stool.

  • Poor personal hygiene.

CAUSES OF H PYLORI INFECTION

  • Living with someone infected.

  • Living in an environment that is not sanitized.

  • Unclean water either bathing or drinking.

  • Overcrowded environment.

SYMPTOMS OF H PYLORI INFECTION

  • Bloody vomit

  • Nausea

  • Fatigue

  • Abdominal pain

  • Constipation

  • Loss of appetite

  • Heartburn

  • Sudden weight loss

  • Inflammation of the abdomen

  • Bloody stool

  • Dizziness

  • Difficulty in breathing

  • Bloating

  • Bad breath

  • Peptic ulcer

  • Belching

However, most H pylori cases do not show signs and symptoms. The symptoms are of peptic or gastritis ulcer disease and some complications may arise as a result of untreated H Pylori. Complications such as irritation of the stomach lining, cancer of the stomach, ulcers, etc.

DIAGNOSIS

Several ways or tests to diagnose H Pylori in children and adults are stated below.

  • Stool test: The presence of H Pylori can be confirmed by testing the stool of a suspected patient. This is done through a laboratory test known as the stool antigen test, which helps to uncover the presence of antigens with H Pylori infection.

  • Breath test: This procedure is carried out by swallowing a carbon molecule pill or liquid. This solution brings about the release of carbon when it gets down in the stomach. This is clear evidence of H Pylori infection in the body.

  • Scope test/upper gastrointestinal endoscopy: This is done by passing a long flexible tube with a camera down the throat into the stomach and duodenum, to view the problems or irregularities in the upper digestive tract. Sample tissues are also collected (biopsy). During this procedure, the patient is sedated or given some drugs to ensure that they are comfortable. This process is known as the upper endoscopy exam.

  • Upper gastrointestinal tests: A liquid with a barium substance is given to the patient, then an x-ray is carried out subsequently. The liquid is meant to make the throat and stomach stand out clearly in the image.

  • Computed tomography: This is a special type of x-ray that gives a very clear and well-detailed picture of the interior part of the body.

  • Blood tests are also helpful but not as much as the rest of the tests.

TREATMENTS

Here are some drugs that can help kill the germs, heal the stomach lining, and permanently prevent the ulcer/sore from coming back.

  • Histamine (h-12) blockers: This blocks histamine. Histamine is a substance that triggers the production of acid in the stomach. Tagamet HB is an example of such drugs.

  • Proton pump inhibitors: This stops the production of acids that can cause inflammation in the stomach.

  • Antibiotics such as tetracycline, amoxicillin, tinidazole, metronidazole, etc. are good in fighting and killing bacteria in the body.

  • Bismuth subsalicylate.

It is advisable to treat H Pylori infection with two different antibiotics at the same time to prevent the bacteria from developing any kind of resistance to one particular antibiotic.

THE USE OF AMOXICILLIN/CLARITHROMYCIN/LANSOPRAZOLE TO FIGHT H PYLORI INFECTION.

Amoxicillin, clarithromycin, and lansoprazole are antibiotics that work in different ways to fight H Pylori infections and stomach ulcers. Amoxicillin is a penicillin antibiotic while clarithromycin is a macrolide antibiotic and lansoprazole reduces the amount of acid secreted or produced in the stomach.

However, these drugs should not be used unless it has been prescribed by a doctor after the patient’s medical history has been reviewed.

Some people may have allergic reactions to some antibiotics. You should avoid the named antibiotics if you have the following allergies or reactions,

  • Allergic reaction to any penicillin antibiotics. Example Timentin, Trimox, Augmentin, etc.

  • Allergic reaction to azithromycin, erythromycin, and telithromycin.

  • A history of a liver problem or jaundice.

  • A history of a heart disorder.

HOW TO PREVENT H PYLORI INFECTION

  • Avoid eating foods that are not properly cooked.

  • Wash your hands properly with anti-bacteria soap and clean water each time you go to the toilet.

  • Wash your hands before cooking your food.

  • Avoid dirty environments.

  • Drink only clean water.

In summary, your personal and environmental hygiene is very important.

FOODS TO EAT DURING TREATMENT.

Here are some foods to be eaten during treatment, due to their compositions.

  • Fruits and vegetables: Cooked vegetables should be eaten because they digest easily, flush the body system, and improve bowel function. Some fruits help to stop the growth of bacteria, fruits like raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and strawberries. Also, other fruits to be eaten should be non-acidic.

  • White meat and fish are preferable. After all, they digest easily because they contain a much lower concentration of fat. It is recommended to use olive oil to grill, if necessary

  • Broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage: They are easily digested vegetables. They contain a very essential substance known as isothiocyanates, which helps prevent cancer and also stops the growth of H Pylori.

  • Probiotics are friendly and beneficial bacteria found in the body. They are also present in some foods like:

a) Yogurt: A probiotic food with beneficial bacteria that helps promote good health. They contain enzymes that help break down lactose into sugars glucose and galactose to avoid malabsorption aiding digestion.

b) Tempeh: Fermented soybean product, mostly sourced from Indonesia. It is very rich in protein and tastes like mushrooms.

c) Cabbage: One that has been fermented with lactic acid bacteria.

d) Kefir: Also helps control cholesterol, fights against allergies, and cancer. It is rich in lactic acid bacteria, which is very beneficial in so many ways; like, helping to boost the immune system, prevention diarrhea, and to build a very strong immune against infections as well.

e) Soft cheese: This is also very good as they contain probiotics that can withstand stomach acid, allowing them to get down to the intestine, and delivering the probiotics to the gastrointestinal tract.

f) Miso soup: This aids quick digestion and enables an easy bowel function. It is a Japanese delicacy made from fermented soybean along with some other ingredients. Its high probiotic contents have made it known in many countries around the globe.

  • Omega 3 and omega 6: They are said to be the beneficial fats found in some oils. For example olive oil, fish oil, carrot seed oil, grape seed oil, etc. They help treat the disease by reducing stomach inflammation and preventing the growth of the bacterium (H Pylori).

Others include Turmeric, Manuka honey, ginger, garlic, onions, shallots, green tea, cranberries, oil of oregano, citrus foods, etc.

FOODS TO BE AVOIDED DURING TREATMENT.

Foods that irritate the stomach should be avoided. Such as:

  • Coffee.

  • Alcohol.

  • Hot pepper.

  • Spicy food.

  • Teas with tannins (like black tea).

  • Caffeinated soda.

  • Carbonated beverages.

  • Pickled food.

  • Carbohydrates.

  • Fatty meat.

  • Sausages.

  • Vinegar preserved foods.

NATURAL TREATMENTS FOR H PYLORI INFECTION.

H Pylori infection is very difficult to cure, but a combination of two antibiotics can help stop the growth of the bacterium, along with some herbs. Examples are:

  • Aloe Vera

  • Ginger

  • Garlic

  • Mastic tree sap

However, it is important to have a checkup after treatment. This checkup normally lasts for 14 days in order to determine whether the infection has been cured. This can be done by taking a stool test and should be done 4 weeks after treatment for a confirmed result. After being cured of this infection, all you need to do is to always maintain very good hygiene to prevent other infections and recurring Pylori infection, even though recurrence is rare.

Leave a Reply