Gastritis - Helicobacter pylori; H. pylori
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is the bacteria responsible for most ulcers and many cases of stomach inflammation (chronic gastritis).
The bacteria can weaken the protective coating of the stomach, allowing digestive juices to irritate the sensitive stomach lining.
As many as half of the world's population is infected with H. pylori. Those living in developing countries or crowded, unsanitary conditions are most likely to contract the bacterium, which is passed from person to person. H. pylori only grows in the stomach, and is usually contracted during childhood.
Interestingly, many people have this organism in their stomach, but don't get an ulcer or gastritis. Coffee drinking, smoking, and drinking alcohol increase your risk for an ulcer from H. pylori.
Chey WD, Wong BC. American College of Gastroenterology guideline on the management of Helicobacter pylori infection. Am J Gastroenterol. 2007;102(8):1808-1825.
Ables AZ, Simon I, Melton ER. Update on Helicobacter pylori treatment. Am Fam Physician. 2007;75(3):351-358.
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