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How to Cure a Helicobacter Infection

by Paul Dohrman
  • Overview

    Most ulcers are caused by a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori). This is contrary to the commonly held belief that ulcers come from eating spicy foods or from too much stomach acid. Pinning most cases down to a bug has tremendously improved and simplified ulcer treatment. Nevertheless, the use of just one medication to treat H. pylori is not recommended. Instead, what is called a "triple therapy" is used: two antibiotics to kill the bacteria, and a third medicine to promote ulcer healing.
 
  • Step 1

    Find a doctor that understands the connection between H. pylori and ulcers. This fact is not necessarily widely known, so don't assume your doctor will know to consider antibiotics.
  • Step 2

    Take two types of antibiotic, not just one. This prevents a drug-resistant strain from surviving.
  • Step 3

    Get medicine from your doctor to either reduce acid production or protect the mucus lining of the stomach. This is important for the ulcer to heal and prevent a recurrent infection.
  • Step 4

    Continue the triple therapy for two weeks. Some preliminary studies however suggest that a one-week triple therapy is as effective, with fewer side effects.
  • 5
  • Another option is two weeks of what is called "quadruple therapy," also known as "bismuth triple therapy." In that case, both acid reduction and protecting the lining are pursued, not just one or the other. A list of lining protectors, acid suppressants and antibiotics are available at the NIH site linked below.
  • Another option is two weeks of what is called "quadruple therapy," also known as "bismuth triple therapy." In that case, both acid reduction and protecting the lining are pursued, not just one or the other.
  • A list of lining protectors, acid suppressants and antibiotics are available at the NIH site linked below.

References & Resources