There are at present 2 ways of administering antibiotic therapy for H.pylori.
The first therapy is a 7 days therapy of 2 separate antibiotics plus what is known as a PPI, this is a medication to help calm your stomach and assist the healing of the stomach wall.
The antibiotics used are amoxicillin and clarithromycin but if you are allergic to penicillin then metronidazole and clarithromycin are used.
The second is used mostly in severe cases when the symptoms have escalated and very marked. In this second therapy there are 3 different antibiotics and so it is referred to as the Triple Therapy. This therapy continues for either 10 days or with a different set of antibiotics therapy lasts for 14 days.
10 day therapy includes, omeprazole, amoxicillin and clarithromycin.
14 day therapy includes bismuth subsalicylate, metronidazole and tetracycline
For either 10 or 14 days the therapy includes lansoprazole, amoxicillin and clarithromycin.
Are there any side effects with the antibiotic therapy?
Antibiotics do have side effects and the more aggressive the therapy the more likely you are to suffer from them. A good way to protect yourself before you start the therapy is to include pre-biotics in your diet. During the therapy it is a good idea to take really good quality pro-biotics.
During Antibiotic Therapy:
There are side effects during your course of therapy, but everyone reacts differently and a lot depends on your lifestyle. If you eat sensibly and stay away from acidic and spicy foods and most definitely don’t drink any alcohol while taking the antibiotics you should not experience any serious side effects. If you do any side effects can be easily treated, so don’t be too worried.
Possible side effects
- Your tongue may become a darker colour and your stools could look very dark.
- You could develop diarrhoea if you aren’t already experiencing it.
- You could find yourself feeling rather disorientated and dizzy.
- You could suffer from recurring headaches.
- You could have a strange taste in your mouth like having sucked on some coins: A metallic taste.
- You will probably feel very nauseous
Alcohol and metronidazole is a BIG no-no! Why? Because you will find yourself feeling really nauseous and need to vomit plus your heart will start beating extra fast. These are dangerous side effects so stay away from alcohol altogether.
What are pre-biotics?
A pre-biotic is a dietary fibre that is not digested in the stomach, and is often prescribed for people who suffer from constipation. But if you are about to embark on aggressive antibiotic therapy then it is wise to start taking a pre-biotic supplement. Why? Because you cannot eat sufficient dietary fibre everyday to get the full benefit. You can add this powder to your food or to any drink. It is tasteless and the texture will blend easily with anything you eat or drink.
How will pre-biotics help?
Antibiotics knock out not only the bad guys in your system but the good ones too, so by taking pre-biotics before you begin your antibiotic therapy you will boost the natural flora in your body and they will also help to slow down the production of bad bacteria in your digestive tract. By taking pre-biotics you will lessen the side effects of the antibiotics.
Your Gut and Antibiotic Therapy
Unfortunately antibiotics cannot just weed out the bad guys in your system. Antibiotics kill-off everything, good or bad. So aggressive antibiotic treatment, while curing you of your H.pylori, will also undermine your overall health. Antibiotics are known to weaken your immune system, cause hormone imbalance, and create mood swings which are more than likely the result of antibiotic induced insomnia. If you are particularly sensitive and prone to allergies you can also develop eczema and worsen the allergies you already have.
If you have no option but to undergo anti-biotic therapy it is imperative that you also take a high quality probiotic both during the therapy and for at least 1 month after the therapy is completed.
What can I expect when I finish taking the antibiotics?
The first thing to remember is that your body has just been bombarded with a really aggressive dose of antibiotics so your body will need time to come back to normal again.
You may still experience some pain in your stomach, especially when you eat, and you may still have the feeling of being bloated. This means that you will probably not feel very hungry and so you will eat less. Eating less always leads to weight loss, so don’t be surprised if you drop quite a bit of weight. But don’t be impatient your body just needs a little time to recover. However, to help your gut recover and to help replace all the good bacteria that you normally have in your gut it is always a good idea to take a probiotic after antibiotic therapy and especially if the therapy has been an aggressive one, which is the case in the treatment of H.pylori.
Read More About : H Pylori Natural Treatments
Tests after therapy. Having a blood test will not be able to tell you if you have recovered. A blood test can only tell if you have at any time been infected with H.pylori, because the antibodies from the bacteria can remain in your system for a very long time after the actual bacteria have been eradicated.
The most efficient test to have after treatment is a repeat of the Breath test. If this comes back negative then the antibiotics have done their job and you are now H.pylori free.
Can I get H.pylori again?
What you need to remember is H.pylori is not a disease, it is a bacteria, and the antibiotics are not a vaccine. So you will not be immune after treatment. It is possible to be reinfected a number of times.
As H.pylori can be passed from one person to another, particularly if they are in close contact, it is a good idea to have the whole family tested and treated, if they have the bacteria. In that way there should be less chance of being reinfected.
Taking your antibiotics.
Another way of being easily re-infected is by not taking your antibiotics as you have been directed to. Missing a dose, or taking catch-up doses, lessens their effectiveness and also produces resistance to them. So be sure you are strict with yourself and make sure you take all the medication you are given, and at the correct times all the way through to the very last pill.
Should I be tested for H.pylori even if I feel fine?
If you have no symptoms then don’t bother. As I said H.pylori is endemic and most people who do have the bacteria in their systems do not feel any ill effects and never get ill, so why put yourself through unnecessary tests and therapies. Just enjoy your life.
What happens if I have asthma and H.pylori?
“Every cloud has a silver lining.” The good news is - if you have no adverse symptoms from the H.pylori in your system, then it may very well be that the H.pylori bacteria will help to lessen the effect of your asthma or even rid you of it altogether. In other words there is some good to be had from an H.pylori infection. An added plus is that it has the same effect on a number of other allergies.
How does H.pylori cause cancer?
Because everyone worries about the big ‘C’, I thought it was a good idea to repeat what I said on the subject a little earlier but under its own heading. The type of cancer caused by H.pylori is stomach cancer. Why? Because that is where this little microbe makes its home. By repeated infections the cells in your stomach wall get overactive and start changing to (they think) beat the next infection, but what they actually do is change into crazy cells or you could call these ‘confused cells’. These cells are now particularly keen on gobbling up the bad cells, but they have become so confused that they really cannot tell which cell is a healthy, good cell and which cell deserves to go. So they start devouring your good healthy cells. These once good healthy cells that helped your body stay healthy, become renegade cells, or as we know them, cancer cells.
So there it is, some of what I have outlined here may seem very frightening, but once again I must emphasise that if you take care of your immune system you really don’t have to worry unduly. As I said at the outset, thousands upon thousands of people have H.pylori in their systems and never, never get sick. Their lives are totally unaffected by the bacteria.
H.pylori is only something to worry about if your immune system is overworked and not up to scratch. You can ensure that your immune system stays strong and able to do battle, by ensuring that you eat a healthy diet, get daily exercise and get a good night’s sleep. So don’t burn the candle at both ends with too many parties and the usual overload of alcohol. Another important factor in keeping your immune system healthy is to make sure that you manage your stress levels. Not smoking should be a given. Oh yes! Don’t forget to wash your hands every time you go to the bathroom.
So take care of yourself and your loved ones, and enjoy a quality life and you need never worry about a tiny bacteria called H.pylori.