Helicobacter pylori are bacteria which live in digestive tract of many people. For most of the people it doesn`t cause any infection but in many people it can cause ulcers, in the lining of stomach or in upper part of the small intestine.
For some people this infection can lead to stomach cancer. These bacteria commonly enter in the body through bad sanitation and infected water and damage the stomach lining which protects from the hydrochloric acid which is used for digesting food, this damage of lining lead to ulcers which may bleed, cause infection or keep food from moving through digestive tract. These bacteria can be obtained by food, water or utensils. Symptoms of H. pylori infections are:
- Bloating and burping in the stomach
- Not feeling hungry
- Nausea and vomiting
- Weight loss for no clear reason
- Stool which is bloody
- Trouble in breathing
- Dizziness and fainting
- Feeling tired for no reason
- Pale skin color
- Belly pain or swelling
You could avoid several risk factors and take some preventive measures you can lower your risk of obtaining a H. pylori bacterial infection:
1. Eat properly cooked food – eating poorly cooked food increases the risk of food poisoning and other causes of infection. Cooking a food at high temperature for long time kills most of the bacteria. Whenever you are cooking food at home clean the vegetables and meats and fish thoroughly and cook them at high temperature. Improperly cleaned and mishandled foods are the reasons for obtaining all types of foodborne infections.
2. Go to healthy places – the main reason of getting H. pylori bacteria is unsanitary conditions. Always avoid eating food from unsanitary areas. Avoid roadside food or food carts which are located near dirty water sources or inadequate conditions.
3. Avoid accidental transmission – these bacteria are mainly transmitted through fecal-oral route or oral-oral route. This bacteria can be found in saliva, feces, vomit, gastric secretions and oral secretions, which may accidently transmitted with not practicing proper hand washing. Some people don`t even know that they are carrying the bacteria and they can easily transmitted it to the other individual. One should always practice proper hygiene and hand washing. We should always wash our hands thorough and often, especially after using restroom.
4. Stop interacting with infected person – you should be very careful with interactions with the people who are infected. Do not kiss or involve in any type of sexual contact until they have been treated with proper treatment. Keep their toothbrush, cups, and utensils in different area for avoiding the transmission of the bacteria.
5. Get tested – if any member of your family is infected with H. pylori you should get tested too. It can be transmitted to you too. If any member is positive they must be treated and retested about four weeks. Reinfection can occur.
6. Get balanced diet – balanced diet helps in keeping you healthy and fight off with harmful bacteria. It also keeps your immune system strong. Take adequate amount of carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals, fats, etc.