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What is an H. pylori infection?

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H. pylori infections are caused by Helicobacter pylori bacteria, which infects the stomach, according to Mayo Clinic. These infections are common and typically occur during childhood. More than half of the world’s population has the infection. In most cases, the infection is benign and displays no symptoms.

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According to WebMD, H. pylori can cause inflammation and stimulate the production of stomach acids. Excess stomach acid may cause peptic ulcer disease, which causes burning pain under the ribs. In addition, the pain worsens on an empty stomach. Other symptoms of H. pylori infections include appetite loss, burping and black, tarry stools. Individuals who experience these symptoms should seek medical treatment because untreated infections may develop into stomach cancer in some cases.

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