The most-common symptom of an Helicobacter, or H. pylori, infection is gnawing, abdominal pain that comes and goes, and usually starts on an empty stomach, states Healthline. Other symptoms include excessive burping, bloating, weight loss, vomiting and loss of appetite, although these symptoms are also characteristics of other conditions.
H. pylori are a type of bacteria that enter bodies and live in the digestive tract, explains WebMD. After many years, the bacteria may start eating away at the stomach lining, causing sores or ulcers and ultimately stomach cancer if left untreated. The H. pylori bacteria are present in the digestive tracts of two out of every three people worldwide, although in many cases, they do not cause any symptoms or ulcers.
Treatment for H. pylori infection takes about two weeks and aims to kills the germs, heal the sores, and prevent the ulcers from developing again, states WebMD. Treatment options include antibiotics, drugs that reduce the acid in the stomach, and medication that kill the H. pylori and block histamine from triggering more acid in the stomach. While it takes about two weeks to get better, full treatment covers a few weeks with patients taking as many as 14 or more pills per day to remove the infection.