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WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a type of bacteria that can cause an infection in your stomach. Caregivers do not understand exactly how you get an H. pylori infection. An H. pylori infection usually occurs in childhood and may persist for many years. H. pylori may weaken the protective layer of the stomach and damage the underlying stomach cells. This can lead to the formation of stomach ulcers.
AFTER YOU LEAVE:
Do not take any medicine that has aspirin or ibuprofen in it. These medicines can cause stomach bleeding. You may need any of the following medicines:
- Antibiotics: This medicine will help kill the H. pylori.
- Antiulcer medicine: This medicine helps decrease the amount of acid that is normally made by the stomach.
- Antacids: You may need antacids to decrease stomach acid.
- Take your medicine as directed: Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your primary healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
While you recover:
- Avoid food and drinks that irritate your stomach: These include salty or spicy food and alcohol.
- Eat small meals throughout the day: Eat several small meals at regular times. This keeps your stomach from being empty for too long. Missing meals and eating irregularly may make your symptoms worse. Try to eat berries, onions, beans, or citrus fruits. These foods may slow the growth of H. pylori.
- Wash your hands often: This will help prevent the spread of germs. Encourage everyone in your house to wash their hands with soap and water after they use the bathroom. Everyone should also wash their hands after they change a child's diaper and before they prepare or eat food. Germ-killing hand lotion or gel may be used to clean your hands when there is no water available.
- Do not smoke: If you smoke, it is never too late to quit. Tobacco smoke can make your stomach symptoms worse. It can also cause heart disease, lung disease, cancer, and other health problems. Quitting smoking will improve your health and the health of those around you. If you smoke, ask for information about how to stop.
Contact your primary healthcare provider if:
- You have a fever.
- You have diarrhea or constipation that may be caused by antacids.
- You have questions about your condition or care.
Seek care immediately or call 911 if:
- You have a fast heartbeat, fast breathing, or are too dizzy or weak to stand up.
- You have worsening diarrhea.
- You have trouble breathing all of a sudden.
- Your bowel movements are bloody or black.
- Your stomach pain does not go away or gets worse, even after you take medicine.
- Your vomit looks like coffee grounds or has blood in it.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.