Living with H Pylori

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Guys, H. Pylori sucks.
My fiance and I have had constant stomach problems for over two months now because of this fun little bacteria.

H. Pylori is short for Helicobacter Pylori, and it is a bacteria that infects your stomach and lives in your digestive tract.
It is actually pretty common, and is present in two thirds of the world’s population (source).  Many people don’t know that they have it unless they show symptoms.  But it could lead to problems such as gastritis and stomach ulcers.

Well, in our case, we showed symptoms.  My fiance started experiencing discomfort in his stomach and digestive system, and about a week later I did as well.  It isn’t normal for us to have so much discomfort in our stomachs, so he made an appointment with the doctor and tested positive for H. Pylori.

It took me a couple more weeks to schedule an appointment because I was waiting for my insurance benefits to kick in, but I finally made an appointment and ended up testing positive for H. Pylori as well.

The symptoms are no fun! They can include nausea, bloating, abdominal pain, indigestion, heartburn, changes in appetite, acid reflux, abdominal discomfort… pretty much any kind of discomfort you can have in your digestive tract.

Both of us were put on the Prevpac, which contains a proton pump inhibitor–Lansoprazole (Prevacid), and
two antibiotics–Amoxicillin and Clarithromycin. It comes in individual packs for each day that have a morning/night dosage–4 pills in the morning and 4 pills at night for two weeks.

That’s 8 pills a day for 14 straight days.  I am not the biggest fan of taking pills, so I wasn’t looking forward to this.  And I dreaded it even more when I read reviews on the Prevpac and saw that the side effects could be worse that the original symptoms.

Luckily, I didn’t have too many problems with the Prevpac.  The first day I took it I experienced some extreme fatigue and some nausea.  The second day, I still had fatigue, but the nausea had subsided.  By the third day, I felt like I was back to normal…..normal being the original discomfort that H. Pylori gave me.

I finished the Prevpac and had a follow-up appointment in which the doctor perscribed me another two months of the lansoprazole, and informed me that if I was still experiencing discomfort after a few months of completing the Prevpac, I could schedule another follow-up appointment to see if there might be something more going on.

It has been two months since I have finished the Prevpac, and we are still experiencing symptoms. Some days are better than others, but most days I still have discomfort.  It is rather annoying.

In the countless searches I have conducted reading and sifting through forums/articles/blog posts/whatever else, I have found that even though the medicine may have killed the bacteria, you could still have uncomfortable symptoms for several months following treatment, depending on how much damage was done to your stomach.

This is not very encouraging.  I am more than ready for all of this discomfort to be gone!  I will probably schedule another appointment in a couple of weeks if I am still experiencing symptoms to see what the doctor thinks.  But in the meantime,  David researched various homeopathic remedies that might lessen the symptoms.  There are quite a few different herbs and plants and liquids that have been said to help alleviate some of the symptoms.  The ones we have picked up are:

Mastic Gum
Cat’s Claw
Betaine HCL
Aloe Vera
Alkaline Water
Cranberry Pills

I have not tried them all, and I am still trying to find a regimen that works for me.  I will say that drinking Aloe Water after lunch helps a bit with upset stomach, and Alkaline Water seems to help with the acid reflux. I haven’t tried taking the Mastic Gum yet, but David feels that it helps a little. I have also recently cut out coffee and try to avoid consuming too many acidic foods to see if that helps.

I have no idea where we might have acquired H Pylori, but I definitely don’t like it!

If anyone else has dealt with this annoying little stomach bacteria, I would love to hear from you.. how long it took your stomach to heal from it, and any healing remedies that worked for you!

<3 Jordan

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