Q. My husband had serious heartburn and suffered for years. After we read about H. pylori, he went to the gastroenterologist and was tested for this infection. Since he had it, the doctor prescribed a very strong treatment of several antibiotics that lasted 14 days.

This solved the problem. The H. pylori was gone, and he ate yogurt with live cultures every day for many weeks to replenish his intestinal flora.

He used to gobble down Tums, but not any more. He has no more heartburn and eats all the spicy foods he likes, even hot pepper sauce. We like it on almost everything except ice cream.

A. Helicobacter pylori bacteria (H. pylori) can cause ulcers and stomach cancer as well as less serious problems such as heartburn or bad breath. Barry Marshall, MD, and Robin Warren, MD, the Australian physicians who discovered that H. pylori are a major cause of ulcers, were awarded the Nobel Prize in 2005.

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  1. Zamson

    Stomach pain ?

    • Zamson

      I am a smoker i have hilkobakteria pain what is the relationship?

  2. Peggy
    San Diego

    Hi, if anyone goes through the antibiotic combination to treat H pylori, consider taking Culturelle (probiotic Lactobacillus GG) afterward. The Culturelle company paid for a study taking it or placebo daily x 1 year after completing the antibiotic combination and then retested at the end of the year. The Culturelle group had much fewer relapses (only about 15% vs something like 65% getting H pylori again in the placebo group). This may be why the yogurt can have some benefit as well. If the Culturelle costs too much to take daily, consider at least 1x/week… Also consider keeping your vitamin D3 intake up (helps immune function and reduce leaky gut).
    Take care, PLM

  3. Kristy

    I’ve been battling h pylori for 6 months now. I had probably had it for about 2 years. After an endoscopy biopsy they found and confirmed h pylori. The doctor told me its nothing bad and easily eradicated. Not true!

    They put me on several antibiotics at three different times and they didn’t work. The 4th time they gave me prev- PAC and by the 4th day the side effects were so bad I quit taking it.

    I ordered mastic gum from amazon where I found it cheapest. It’s $17 for 60-500 mg capsules. I started off taking 4 a day for about 6 weeks then 2 a day for a month. I was feeling much better so I slacked off a few weeks.

    Symptoms came back full blast so I just started taking them again. I also ordered from amazon Licorice root extract dgl and the first one was a miracle pill for the stomach pain!!!! I highly recommend it for stomach issues. These products are completely natural and you can about take all you want! Prayers to all who are suffering with this because it really can make life about unbearable!

  4. Dave P.

    Following endoscopy (which disclosed neither active ulcers nor cancer), I was treated for h. pylori. I had the urea breath test after the appropriate amount of time. The breath test turned up negative. Last night I had a meal of an egg, pancakes, and sausage. After 3 hours of sleep, I woke up and had to take antacids. Does a certain period of time have to pass before antacids are no longer necessary following such a meal, or is something else likely to be going on?

  5. aimee

    I was treated with triple antibiotics for 14 days and a few months later I’m starting to have symptoms again. I truly hope if I test positive again I can get rid of it with a second round of antibiotics.
    Mary P I have read that people can develop yeast problems in your stomach and gut due to antibiotic treatment to get rid of the bacteria. 30 days is a long time. You may want to Google it but you can take probiotics to get your stomach back on track. It may help you to feel better. Good luck with treatment. I hope I can get a negative test back soon.

  6. aimee

    I was treated with triple antibiotics for 14 days and a few months later I’m starting to have symptoms again. I truly hope if I test positive again I can get rid of it with a second round of antibiotics.
    Mary P I have read that people can develop yeast problems in your stomach and gut due to antibiotic treatment to get rid of the bacteria. 30 days is a long time. You may want to Google it but you can take probiotics to get your stomach back on track. It may help you to feel better. Good luck with treatment. I hope I can get a negative test back soon.

  7. Mary P

    I was treated with triple anti-biotic for 30 days and gave a negative breath test, yet my symptoms are worse than ever before… a never ending gnawing hunger. This is ruining my life. What should I do?

  8. GR

    This is long but you may see some people are working in the problem.
    I happen to see a program on CBC (Canadian TV) with respect to the research in bacteria by Dr. Sidney Finegold. This is a cut and paste from the program. “A fresh perspective on autism research with the developing “Bacterial Theory” of autism. The fastest-growing developmental disorder in the industrialized world, autism has increased an astounding 600 per cent over the last 20 years. Science cannot say why. Some say it’s triggered by environmental factors and point to another intriguing statistic: 70 per cent of kids with autism also have severe gastrointestinal symptoms. Could autism actually begin in the gut? The Autism Enigma looks at the progress of an international group of scientists who are studying the gut’s amazingly diverse and powerful microbial ecosystem for clues to the baffling disorder.”
    What struck me were the symptoms as related to me, an adult. Recently, I was hit by e-coli and the first antibiotic I was given was Ceftin. I immediately noticed that the constant hunger-like pangs stopped. The follow-up antibiotics did not have the same effect. For years, the people I worked with commented that I was always eating; it was to keep the phantom hunger pangs at bay. Even though I went to a G-I specialist, he found nothing. I doubt that he knew anything about h-pylori.

  9. bn

    Thank you posting an article about H Pylori. Its a very helpful information for us. I am giving you 5/5 marks.

  10. LWG

    You may want to try probiotics. They cannot hurt and may well help.
    (I am not an MD)
    I recommend a product from JARROW named “Jarrow-dophilus”. My wife and I have found it is the “best of breed” of the many we have tried.
    (I do not work for Jarrow nor am I a stock owner.)
    God’s Blessings and prayers for improved health, LWG

  11. katmay

    As usual, I’m the weird exception. Had a visible gastric ulcer from stress, not h-pylori, tested by culture, biopsy, and expensively by antibody reaction. Even if it was, I tolerate NO antibiotics, can take sulfa. Still was put on prevacid which I stopped as it caused hair loss. Still have the ulcer but no heartburn. Can’t have surgery, even if the ulcer gets worse, because I tolerate no pain med but demerol, which is now denied me solely due to my age and I refuse to have another major operation with only Tylenol for pain relief. I also do not tolerate any metallic nutrition supplements such as iron, magnesium, zinc. I wish someone would find out how my weird body works before it is too late to do me or anyone else any good. Thanks for listening. Katmay

  12. ebm

    To: People’s Pharmacy
    I heard a long time ago from the health docs that Mastic Gum/Mastica from a shrub or tree in Greece can also heal H-Pilori and that it takes longer. I went through the
    antibiotic treatment and I had such terrible stomach pain that I lost 10 pounds during
    the treatment (I only weighed 112 @5’4+). They didn’t give me a strong enough antacid to go with it. I’ll never go through that again.

  13. LL

    The Oct 1993 Readers Digest published an article on a Dr from Australia (Barry Marshall, a young internist) who had patients suffering from pain from ulcers and gastritis for which there was no cure. (This bacteria had been found as far back as 1893! In 1940 some study showed that bismuth seemed to heal some ulcers.) Dr Marshall finally tied the bacteria to the stomach ulcers and started treating his patients with bismuth, but the pain relapsed.
    When he treated a patient who also had a gum infection with a common antibiotic – Metronidazole, he discovered that that patient had no relapse. He fought the medical profession to prove his theory, until they relented. “The Dr who Wouldn’t Accept No.” My husband had been going thru the pain at that time and his gastroenterologists didn’t have a clue of how to treat this and when the Readers’ Digest printed the article, we shared it with them.
    They finally prescribed the treatment to him, but had to go thru it more than once when the pain returned. (The bacteria gets into the lining of the stomach where the bismuth cannot kill it.) They had no idea what caused ulcers until Dr Marshall presented his theory and findings.

  14. Greg Pharmacy Student

    Susan H and others,
    H. Pylori is thought to spread like other bacteria, although not through the air like influenza (flu, which is a virus).
    Most everyone with GERD should be tested for H. pylori at some point. H. pylori needs to be killed by antibiotics just like a Strep throat or any other bacterial infection.
    A good balance of good bacteria may do the trick, but I would use the antibiotics that have been PROVEN to work.
    There are several regimens that can be used to treat H. Pylori. The most common combination is probably a PrevPac: amoxicillin, clarithromycin (Biaxin) and Prevacid for 14 days. Other combinations might use metronidazole or tetracycline, or an acid reducer other than Prevacid, or Pepto-Bismol.
    While there is no generic of PrevPac in the pharmacy we sometimes call the doctor to allow us to fill using the separate parts of the PrevPac. The name brand is at least $ 100 dollars substitutes maybe in range of $ 50.
    It’s a steal for the price of antacids for the rest of your life.

  15. Susan H

    One more instance where a combination therapy trumps the newest and most expensive Brand Name drugs! When will we learn that sometimes less is more?
    Can you tell us why the bacteria needs to be killed by antibiotics? Can a good balance of bacteria really be achieved by just adding “good” bacteria from yogurt? What antibiotics are used in the official treatment? How long? So just how expensive is treatment then?…
    Is there any reason to not just start a treatment regimen if someone is showing all the symptoms? I know human doctors just have to have a Definitive Diagnosis, but in Veterinary medicine we treat very often based on commonality of symptoms- “if it walks and talks like a duck.. then it’s a duck” ;o))

  16. onw

    Could lack of protein in diet cause wait loss, or ativan???

  17. Bev C

    When a recent bout of GERD turned out to NOT be H.pylori, I tried all sorts of things including Prilosec (horrible reaction!). In the end, what seemed to work was Magnesium. I had read about it here and gave it a try. After a week or more of 1250-1500 mg magnesium/day, my GERD was gone. I have cut back on the magnesium but have found that if I don’t continue to take 1000 mg/day of Magnesium Oxide, reflux returns.

  18. Joseph from South Carolina

    I have had heartburn problems off and on for over 15 years. I have tried Nexum, Prolisec, and many other over the counter medications, but the heartburn kept coming back every year or so. Coffee seemed to be the main trigger which I can not give up in the morning. After one recent bad attack I started to eating a cup of yogurt first thing every morning and it has kept my heartburn at bay even after two to three cups of coffee. I also mentioned this to a friend whose husband had daily heartburn. She gave her husband yogurt every evening and he also has been heartburn free since starting his yogurt regiment. I am convinced the yogurt is doing something to alleviate our heartburn.

  19. Lisme

    It sure took a long time to get the idea that infection was causing stomach trouble. I wonder why someone didn’t think of this sooner. Glad to hear that people are getting help. How do you get H. pylori in the first place?

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