It is very important to differentiate between gastritis and Helicobacter pylori infection. Many patients think that having heartburn, fullness or stomach burning is always caused by the Helicobacter; some of them even claim to have received eradication therapy with antibiotics prescribed by a doctor and still continue to think they are infected with this bacterium when most likely at that point it is only gastritis, because if you followed the treatment correctly, it’s almost certain that this microorganism has been eliminated from the body.
So why do I still burning?
It is very simple; What causes burning is stomach acid when it comes into contact with the walls of the stomach, in places where the protective mucosa has been lost.
How you lost this mucosa?
There are many options, but now we will refer to the damage caused by the Helicobacter pylori, and yes, it’s possible that this damage on the mucosa protector of the stomach was caused by this bacterium while it was inside us.
If I took antibiotics and why I still burning?
Eradication therapy with antibiotics focuses on eliminating Helicobacter pylori, which is very important, but it doesn’t help with the restoration of the gastric mucosa was damaged. For this, gastroprotectors must be used so that the stomach recovers its internal protective capacity.
That is why it is not correct to say: “My stomach burns, I have Helicobacter” even more if you has already carried out the eradication treatment. The effectiveness of this eradication process is almost 90%.
What happens if we belong to that 10% of people in which no eradication treatment works?
This is possible, since there are “varieties” of the bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and if we also take antibiotics as if they were “treats” in cases where it was not necessary (a flu, for example), this is most likely.
Finally, the only way to know if this microorganism causes digestive problems is through a test and if it has already undergone antibiotic eradication therapy and continues with discomfort, it is probably only gastritis, however, it’s always important to have another test to definitely rule out the presence of the bacteria.
- If you have gastritis, you can take gastro-protective products.
- If you have Helicobacter Pylori infection, you should take antibiotics prescribed by a doctor.
Important note: each scientific statement must be verified; at present, there is only one proven and validated method for the eradication of Helicobacter pylori, which combines antibiotics and PPIs. There is no “miraculous water” or home treatment to eliminate this microorganism; or at least there are not scientific studies of it.
Dr. Rod C.
Master Degree in Nutrition