Helicobacter pylori bacteria (H. pylori bacteria), can be found in over half of all humans. It is a corkscrew shaped bacteria. The bacteria is usually acquired in childhood and remains in the stomach of its host for decades. H. pylori is the only documented bacterial species that is able to survive in the human host, for prolonged periods of time. It is estimated that over 20% of people under the age of 40-years and 65% of people over the age of 60-years, in the U.S. are infected. The rates of infection in underdeveloped countries is much higher.
When contracted, the bacteria buries itself into the thick sticky mucus layer of the gut, and is held in check, by strong hydrochloric acid (HCL). The hydrochloric acid is produced by the parietal cells, in the stomach. The thick mucus covering is a barrier against damage to the stomach lining. When the strength of the HCL starts to diminish, or the thick mucus barrier thins, the bacteria starts to grow and colonize.
In the colonization process, the bacteria destroys the acid producing cells (parietal cells), which allow the bacteria to colonize faster. Without the protection of the mucus and HCL the bacteria attacks the stomach lining and makes the stomach lining more susceptible to damage from gastric acid.
In the process of attacking the acid producing parietal cells, the bacteria also attacks the stomach lining itself. The attack on the stomach lining starts out by causing inflammation, commonly called Gastritis. If the attack on the stomachs cells continues without intervention, there is a risk of developing peptic ulcers and gastric cancer. Common symptoms of H. pylori are: gnawing, or burning abdominal pain. The pain usually gets worse when the stomach is empty and becomes less when stomach has food in it.
There are several factors that allow the H. pylori bacteria to proliferate: Aging is one of the most obvious factor. In many instances as a person ages, the parietal cells start to wane in their ability to produce sufficiently strong hydrochloric acid (Hypochlorhydria). This usually start to occur in people over the age of 40. Recent studies show that many younger people are starting to develop the H. pylori infection. The increase is directly related to sedentary life styles and consuming large amounts of food containing processed sugar.
Another factor is the use of antibiotics, antihistamines, chemotherapy medications, etc. These medications kill of the flora in the gut and intestines. They also stop the acid producing cell in the stomach from producing acid (Hypochlorhydria). These medications also affect the production of mucus and cause thinning of the mucus in the stomach.
Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) are some the most detrimental medications a person can take. They completely stop the production of Hydrochloric acid, in the stomach, and drastically affect absorption in the small bowel. Without strong hydrochloric acid, bacteria and pathogens that are normally destroyed in the gut are dumped into the small bowel, causing inflammation and allergic reactions. PPIs prevent nutrients from being broken down and converted, so the can be absorbed properly. They greatly diminish the absorption of the necessary vitamins, minerals and micronutrients necessary to support the immune system and keep the body healthy.
Studies have found that the Candida bacteria can act as a reservoir, for storing the H. pylori bacteria. This is especially true with oral Candida. After receiving treatment for H. pylori infection in the stomach, the infection will reappear weeks later, because the oral Candida was not corrected as part of the cure, for the H. pylori infection. The antibiotics used to treat H. pylori, kills all of the flora, in the stomach and stop the production of hydrochloric acid. When the hydrochloric acid is no longer present the digestive tract is wide open for bacterial infection.
Hypochlorhydria (reduced HCL strength) is the root cause of many serious ailments. It will drastically reduce the absorption of the necessary vitamins minerals and micronutrients necessary to keep the body health. Hypochlorhydria will allow H. pylori, Candida and other bacteria to flourish in the digestive process. People with H. pylori infection should be treated for oral Candida at the same time to prevent reoccurrence, of the infection.
The best and most accurate methods a doctor can use for diagnosing Hypochlorhydria is a pH diagnostic test, pH capsule, or pH gastrogram. For more information check out www.phcapsule.com.