Symptoms of an H. pylori, or Helicobacter pylori, infection include abdominal pain, a bloated feeling, vomiting, lack of appetite and loss of weight, according to Healthline. People infected with H. pylori typically experience a gnawing stomach pain at night, hours after eating or when the stomach is empty.
H. pylori commonly infect the stomach and usually affect children, states Healthline. This strain of bacteria is harmless in many cases, although it sometimes causes diseases. The bacteria can reach the stomach lining and affect the body's immune response. They can also cause the development of ulcers in the stomach or the duodenum, which is the part of the gut extending from the stomach. Moreover, an H. pylori infection may lead to gastritis or stomach cancer.
Anyone who experiences the symptoms of an H. pylori infection should consult a doctor, as some of these symptoms are also associated with other conditions, notes Healthline. Doctors diagnose the infection through blood tests, stool tests, breath tests or endoscopy.
Medical treatment may not be necessary if the infection does not cause problems or increase a person's risk of stomach cancer, says Healthline. Individuals with close relatives suffering from stomach cancer or similar problems typically require treatment. Doctors often prescribe a pair of antibiotics, such as pantoprazole and lansoprazole, and a drug that decreases stomach acid, such as pantoprazole or lansoprazole.