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Taking Charge of Your Health


Learning medicine is hard work! Osmosis makes it easy. It takes your lectures and notes to create
a personalized study plan with exclusive videos, practice questions and flashcards, and so
much more. Try it free today! Helicobacter pylori, or H. pylori for short,
is a bacterium found in the stomach of over half of the world’s population. In some individuals it can cause inflammation
of the stomach lining; and can result in peptic ulcers. In fact, complications from H. pylori ulcers
is thought to have been the cause of the death for the famous writer, James Joyce. H. pylori is a gram-negative bacteria that’s
shaped like a curved rod and it has 2 to 6 flagella, kind of like multiple tails, all
at one end which it uses for movement. It’s positive for urease, oxidase and catalase;
and is a microaerophile, so that means it needs oxygen to survive, but requires less
than the levels typically found in the atmosphere. Now in the stomach, there are four regions
– the cardia, the fundus, the body, and the pylorus. And the pylorus itself is made up two main
parts: the antrum; and the pyloric canal, which connects to the first section of the
small intestines called the duodenum. Ok, now normally, the inner wall of the entire
gastrointestinal tract is lined with mucosa, which consists of three cell layers. The innermost layer is the epithelial layer
and it absorbs and secretes mucus and digestive enzymes. The middle layer is the lamina propria and
it has blood and lymph vessels. The outermost layer of the mucosa is the muscularis
mucosa, and it’s a layer of smooth muscle that contracts and helps with the break down
food. The epithelial layer dips down below the surface
of the stomach lining to form gastric pits. And these pits are contiguous with gastric
glands below which contain various epithelial cell types – each secreting a variety of substances. So for example, foveolar cells, or surface
mucus cells, secrete mucus, which is a mix of water and glycoproteins that coats the
stomach epithelial cells. With all of these digestive enzymes and hydrochloric
acid floating around, the stomach and duodenal mucosa would get digested if not for this
mucus which coats and protects the epithelial cells. Within the glands, particularly in the body
and fundus of the stomach, are parietal cells, which secrete hydrochloric acid to help maintain
an acidic pH in the stomach. There are also chief cells that secrete pepsinogen
to digest proteins. And then there are G cells which secrete gastrin,
which has a number of effects, including stimulation of parietal cells. An H. pylori infection is thought to spread
through fecal-oral, gastro-oral, and perhaps oral-oral transmission, from one infected
individual to another. That is – through contamination of food and
water or even directly, with fecal matter, vomitus, or saliva. However it makes its way into the body – once
it arrives within the stomach, H. pylori uses its flagella to propel toward the stomach
lining. Typically, it will migrate to regions where
pH is less acidic – like the antrum, which has fewer parietal cells. It then uses adhesin proteins to stick to
the surface of foveolar cells where it can release a number of virulence factors which
help it both survive and thrive, and cause damage to the mucosa. One of the most important enzymes for their
survival is urease because it converts urea in the gastric juices to carbon dioxide and
ammonia. Ammonia, which is basic, locally neutralizes
the acid gastric environment and protects H. pylori from the harsh, acidic environment
of the stomach. While H. pylori itself does not typically
go inside the epithelial cells, some of the virulence factors it releases do – and they
cause extensive damage to epithelial cells. For example, some strains of H. pylori produce
cytotoxin-associated gene A, or cagA, which interferes with the attachments between epithelial
cells that normally help protect the underlying mucosal layers. That induces an inflammatory immune response
within the gastric lining, called gastritis, as mononuclear immune cells become attracted
to the infection site. In chronic infections, cagA has been linked
to the development of two gastric cancers: mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue or MALT
lymphoma, which involves B cells; and adenocarcinoma, which involves cells within the gastric glands. Some strains of H. pylori produce exotoxin
vacuolating cytotoxin A, or vacA, which causes epithelial cell death and exposes the underlying
mucosal layers to gastric acid. As more and more cell layers die, deep holes
through the mucosa form – called ulcers. Now, inflammation also stimulates the G cells
to secrete gastrin, which in turn stimulates parietal cells to produce even more hydrochloric
acid. And all this excess acid can spur the formation
of both gastric ulcers and duodenal ulcers – the main distinction being the exact location
of the gastritis. Antral gastritis leads to duodenal ulcers
whereas corpus gastritis leads to gastric ulcers. Very deep ulcers can erode underlying blood
vessels and may even erode all the way through the wall of the stomach, or duodenum in particular,
causing a perforation. Finally, and very rarely, long-standing duodenal
ulcers in the pyloric canal, can sometimes have so much edema or scarring that they obstruct
the normal passage of gastric contents into the duodenum. The majority of individuals with H. pylori
don’t have any symptoms, and it may play an important role in the natural stomach ecology. But in some individuals there can be a chronic
infection, particularly with strains that have cagA and vacA. That can cause symptoms like heartburn, shortness
of breath, and loss of appetite with or without weight-loss, and pain in the abdomen just
above the stomach that worsens a few hours after eating. Ulcers that lead to blood vessel erosions
may cause bleeding and blood in vomit or feces; if a nearby artery is eroded, it could lead
to rapid blood loss and shock. If a perforation occurs, air can collected
under the diaphragm, irritating the phrenic nerve, and sending referred pain up to the
shoulder. Finally, a chronic infection can also lead
to iron-deficiency anemia – it’s thought that the bacteria sequester dietary iron – literally
eating it before you can get to it! There are a few ways to diagnosis an H. pylori
infection. A fecal antigen test or blood titers or a
urease breath test with labeled urea can be used to detect the bacteria or enzymes. Lastly, upper gastrointestinal endoscopy can
be used to get a gastric biopsy. Finally, a diagnosis can be made by culturing
H. pylori from a gastric biopsy. Without the presence of clinical symptoms,
H. pylori is not typically treated. But if it’s detected in a person with a
family history of gastrointestinal cancers; or when clinical symptoms are present – triple
therapy is effective and consists of two antibiotics, typically amoxicillin and clarithromycin,
and a proton pump inhibitor. So, to recap: Helicobacter pylori is a gram-negative,
microaerophilic bacterium commonly found in the stomach. The majority of individuals infected with
the bacterium are asymptomatic, and it may play an important role in the natural stomach
ecology.It’s linked to the development of gastric and duodenal ulcers, MALT lymphomas,
and gastric cancer. Acute infection may appear as an acute gastritis
with abdominal pain or nausea. Treatment includes antibiotics and a proton
pump inhibitor.

22 thoughts on “Helicobacter pylori

  1. I had H. Pylori and I remember that I felt like I was feeding it Everytime I ate junk food. It reminded me I was never alone. Sadly I had to say goodbye.

  2. Over 50% of the world population in infected by H. pylori (harmful in about 15% of cases, causes cancer in about 1000 000 people per year). There are now actually some fascinating trials for a H. pylori vaccination!

  3. This is sooo good!! Great video as expected from osmosis as usuall! This is very thorough and adequately explained.

  4. I have obvious signs of pernicious anemia through this and doctors dont have a clue and think its all in my head

    I can only absorb. B12 and iron through oral spray
    My ulcersare that bad .

    Good thing im clever and i realised through time that i was slowly dying from chronic malnutrition from the stomach ulcers that was caused by h pylori

    Doctors arent taught on how the human body works at med school
    They are only taught how to sell drugs
    They have made me worse with the anti biotics

    Manuka honey and black seed oil Every day

    Trust nature not doctors

  5. I was mostly asymptomatic for my first infection, cured it but now a yr and half later I'm either reinfected or it was not fully killed.

  6. I did cure my H Pylori infection with Virgin Siberian nut pine Oil I bought on amazon, 1 tea spoon before meals 3 times a day, especially first thing in the morning, I did tried everything after my antibiotics, mastic gum, broccoli sprouts, probiotics and I used to feel better but the pain was still always there till I tried this oil, I am so happy now, I can eat anything, drink or do a normal life again, no more diarreas or anything, I feel amazing, I am going to have a new test next week, fingerd crossed. 😀

  7. Hi, i have some symptoms. Whatever i eat or drink.. i burp a lot. and also i am having hyper acidity with heart burn. But i did not feal any pain in my stomach.sometime My throat get tight and feal dificulty in breathing. Please tell me what could be this ?

  8. Drugs will not help in the long run,u need to fix ur ugly,crap diets,for a life time,if not,u will get stuck with it like it or not,no medicine will help.

  9. I had peptic ulcers 30 years ago . A simple breath test showed I had H. Pylori. I was put on antibiotics for 2 weeks and have never had a problem since.

  10. I have only had the oil for 3 days, but you know what? I can tell it is working in dramatic ways. My poor tummy and bowel have been under seige these last 3 years with high doses of continual NSAIDS for an arthritic spine and chronic lung condition. My digestion was so messed up and painful ulcers were finely severe enough that I was forced to stop all ibuprofen and take time off to heal my whole digestive system. As I said, I have only had the Siberian Pine Nut Oil for 3 days, but I finally feel relief!! The pain and bloating are at least 80% better and I'm feeling encouraged that this is going to totally assist in my full recovery. Time will tell…I will gladly keep track and share my final results. Our bodies are truly Divinely appointed to heal when certain criteria are met. Removing the irritation and adding healing herbs assists the healing process. I've also added vegetable based digestive enzymes and Kombucha tea to my daily regimens. These, with the Siberian Pine Nut Oil have really been a blessing and an amazing experience. I am so encouraged and relieved. Ahhhh….

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