The Helicobacter Foundation

Question
Is there a possible connection between H. pylori and Rosacea? Is there a connection between H. pylori and acne?
The link between H. pylori and Rosacea is in dispute at the present time and at least has not been proven. Nevertheless, it is possible that an organism in the stomach could affect the immune response and cause a skin rash. For this reason, if nothing else works, patients with Rosacea may wish to be treated for H. pylori. Nowadays, blood tests could determine if the bacterium is present in the stomach.

 

Is there an association between H. pylori and diabetes and, if so, can the existence of H. pylori in the gut increase the absorption of sucrose across the mucosa?
Currently this association has not been described. In patients with diabetes who are vomiting however, it may be worthwhile to check for H. pylori. The absorption of sucrose across the mucosa increases, but only by a tiny amount so this would not normally affect patients with diabetes and H. pylori.

 

Is there any association between H. pylori and Crohn's Disease?
No. However, many doctors believe that Crohn's Disease is caused by an infection. This is very controversial at present and clinical trials are being undertaken around the world to see if antibiotic treatment affects Crohn's disease.

 

Is there a link between H. pylori and stomach cancer? Is it hereditary?
Please read the information on stomach cancer. Stomach cancer is hereditary but some of this inheritance may be because H. pylori is spread around in the family from parents to children.

 

Can H. pylori be the cause of Colitis in the same way that H. pylori is the cause of stomach cancers?
H. pylori is not known to be the cause of colitis.

 

Besides H. pylori, what alternative conditions could cause duodenal ulcers?
The other cause of ulcer is usually aspirin or arthritis-type medication. Some people secrete very high levels of acid. Occasionally viruses can cause shallow ulcers. There are rare conditions, cause unknown, in which ulcers can develop in the mouth and gastrointestinal tract.

 

Is there any research trials being conducted to investigate perforated ulcers and H. pylori?
Dr. Dean Jensen at UCLA in California is studying perforated ulcers.

 

What is the risk of developing cancer in asymptomatic patients? Should they undergo an endoscopic examination?
About 0.5 to 2.5% of persons with lifelong, untreated H. pylori will develop stomach cancer. This percentage is higher in some countries (Japan, Columbia) and lower in others (USA, Australia). Ethnic factors and diet also play a role. H. pylori positive persons without symptoms or family history of stomach cancer need not undergo endoscopy.

 

Has anyone looked into a possible connection between Graves disease and H. pylori?
No.

 

Does H. pylori cause all three types of stomach-related ulcers: oesophageal, gastric and duodenal? Does the drug Prilosec cure H. pylori infection? What is the usual treatment for H. pylori?
Stomach and duodenal ulcers are likely to be caused by H. pylori but it does not cause oesophageal ulcers. Nearly all ulcers can heal when acid is lowered so Prilosec (omeprazole) is effective in all kinds of ulcers. Prilosec (omeprazole) can also inhibit H. pylori but does not usually cure the infection. Without cure of H. pylori the problem will recur. The usual treatment is to have antibiotics for one or two weeks. Following this you should take another drug, such as Zantac, for a few weeks, before having a breath test four weeks after treatment. The breath test will give an accurate result telling you whether H. pylori has been eradicated. If you take Prilosec (omeprazole) in the days immediately before your breath test you may obtain a false reading - the breath test indicates H. pylori has been cured when in actual fact the organism is still lurking! Read the instructions for the breath test.

 

Is H. pylori connected to heart disease?
At present there is no convincing evidence that H. pylori is linked to heart disease. Several investigators have noted that atherosclerosis is more severe or more common in patients with chronic infections e.g. chlamydia and possibly Helicobacter, but this has not been confirmed.

 

Is there any correlation between gastritis and incidence of stomach cancer in India?
There is little data coming from India about this subject, however in India and the Middle East, the relationship between H. pylori and gastric cancer is less strong than in Asian countries. Diet probably has a major effect on the expression of cancer risk from H. pylori.
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