A third of the population affected - high degree of infection with Helicobacter pylori germs

Helicobacter pylori infection widespread

Abdominal pain is not only annoying, it also has a significant impact on the quality of life. Pressure in the stomach area, acid regurgitation and possible stomach pain can be signs of the gastric germ Helicobacter pylori.

Every third resident in Germany is infected with the aggressive gastric germ Helicobacter pylori (Hp). That is about 30 million people. The notorious stomach germ can, but does not have to be, a trigger for stomach complaints. In many people, the germ colonizes the stomach, but does not cause any discomfort.

The Hp is spread through human-to-human transmission. Usually in infancy within the family. If an adult family member has symptoms, they should have their germ examined.

The germ often causes stomach discomfort. If the problems do not go away within two to three weeks, a doctor should be consulted. He will recommend gastroscopy (gastroscopy).

The specialist in gastrointestinal diseases looks at the gastric mucosa and esophagus with a flexible look. Finest tissue samples are taken from the mucous membrane and examined histologically (microscopically) for the gastric germ. If there is an infection with the gastric germ Hp, this is eliminated by taking two antibiotics (eradication therapy). In addition, the intake of an acid blocker is prescribed.

A check-up with a breath test is carried out six to eight weeks after stopping medication. The test is recommended in a new guideline by the Society for Gastroenterology, Digestive and Metabolic Diseases (DGVS). This new breath test procedure is described by medical experts as the “gold standard”.

The patient's exhaled air is checked using a 13C breath test, explains Professor Dr. med. Stephan Mielke from the Gastrointestinal Center in Hamburg. A lot of doctors can carry out this check-up, according to the specialist.

If the aggressive germ is no longer detectable, drug therapy was successful. The risk of developing gastritis, gastric or duodenal ulcers and malignant tumors was significantly reduced.

A guidebook brochure about the Helicobacter pylori can be requested free of charge from the Gastroliga, Friedrich-List-Straße 13, in 35398 Giessen or by email: [email protected]

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