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What is an H. Pylori Infection?

Helicobacter pylori or H. pylori is a type of bacteria that infects the stomach and the upper part of the small intestine. It is a common bacterial infection that affects millions of people worldwide. H. pylori infection is often asymptomatic but can lead to various gastrointestinal issues including peptic ulcers and gastritis.

Causes of H. Pylori Infection 

H. pylori infection is primarily transmitted through oral-oral or faecal-oral routes. The exact mode of transmission is not fully understood but it is thought to occur through:

  • Consumption of food or water contaminated with H. pylori bacteria 
  • Close person-to-person contact which can facilitate the transfer of the bacteria
  • Poor hygiene practices, particularly in crowded or unsanitary conditions 

Symptoms of H. Pylori Infection

Many people infected with H. pylori do not experience any symptoms. However, when symptoms do occur they can vary in intensity and may include:

  • Bloating and abdominal discomfort
  • Peptic ulcers
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Indigestion
  • Loss of appetite
  • Burping 
  • Dyspepsia
  • Heartburn
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Unexplained weight loss

Diagnosis of H. Pylori Infection

Your healthcare provider usually will ask for your medical history and perform a physical examination initially. Confirming the diagnosis of H. pylori infection typically involves a combination of various diagnostic procedures including:

  • Breath Test: This non-invasive test measures the presence of specific compounds in your breath after consuming a special solution.
  • Blood Test: This involves detecting the presence of antibodies against H. pylori in your blood, which can indicate an ongoing or previous infection.
  • Stool Test: This test checks for H. pylori antigens in your stool.
  • Endoscopy: In more severe cases, an endoscopy may be recommended to directly examine the stomach lining and take biopsies for analysis.

Complications of H. Pylori Infection

H. pylori infections generally lead to gastritis and peptic ulcers, and more serious complications that include:

  • Internal bleeding and perforation occurs when a peptic ulcer ruptures through your blood vessel which can lead to iron deficiency anaemia.
  • Obstruction can occur when inflammation of the stomach lining blocks the passage of food from your stomach.
  • Peritonitis is an infection of the peritoneum, the lining of the abdominal cavity.
  • Prolonged and recurrent infection can increase the risk of stomach cancer. 

Treatment of H. Pylori Infection

H. pylori infection is typically treated with a combination of antibiotics and acid-reducing medications. Common treatment regimens include:

  • Triple Therapy: This involves a combination of two antibiotics and a proton pump inhibitor (PPI). The choice of antibiotics can vary based on factors like regional antibiotic resistance patterns and an individual medical history and allergies. Typically, a combination of two antibiotics is prescribed to minimize the risk of antibiotic resistance. PPIs reduce the production of stomach acid providing relief from symptoms and allowing antibiotics to work more effectively.
  • Quadruple Therapy: In cases of antibiotic resistance, a quadruple therapy regimen that includes additional medications may be prescribed. The duration of treatment can vary but typically lasts for about 10 to 14 days. It is crucial to complete the entire course of antibiotics as prescribed by your healthcare provider even if your symptoms improve before the treatment is finished. Prematurely stopping antibiotics can lead to antibiotic resistance and a higher risk of the infection recurrence.
  • Lifestyle Modifications: Patients are often advised to make lifestyle changes including avoiding spicy or acidic foods and refraining from smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.Always consume purified water and maintain clean surroundings.


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Dr. Gyawali is exclusively available at

Mubadala Health – Jumeirah, Dubai

Sunset Mall - First Floor
Jumeirah Beach Rd Jumeirah 3
Dubai, UAE

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I was referred to Dr Gyawali for a manometry test. He carefully studied my medical history. and realised that my previous doctor had repeatedly missed a significant diagnosis. He immediately referred me on to the necessary specialists for urgent treatment. I cannot thank him enough..

Patient at Queen's Hospital

29th February 2020