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What is Helicobacter Pylori?

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Josep Just Timoneda
Digestive consultations, abdominal ultrasound scans, conventional colonoscopy, gastroscopy
14 Dec 2023
2 Min
Health tips

What is Helicobacter Pylori?

Helicobacter Pylori (H. Pylori) is a bacterium that can cause an infection in the stomach. In most cases, the bacterium does not produce symptoms, but it is estimated that half of the world’s population carries it.

What are the most common causes of H. Pylori infection?

The H. Pylori bacterium is primarily transmitted through contact with saliva, feces, or vomit, or through contaminated food or water. According to the Spanish Foundation of the Digestive System, “The first contact with the bacterium usually occurs during childhood: it is very rare for the first infection to occur in adulthood.”

However, the presence of this bacterium does not necessarily mean an infection. A large percentage of people with the bacterium do not show any signs or symptoms, and may never develop them. It is not precisely known what distinguishes symptomatic individuals from those who are not, but there is suspicion that there could be a greater innate resistance in certain parts of the population.

What symptoms does H. Pylori cause?

If H. Pylori manifests, it can damage the protective tissue lining the stomach and duodenum, causing chronic inflammation of these digestive organs. The infection can lead to gastritis and gastric or duodenal ulcers, causing symptoms such as:

  • Stomach pain or burning sensation
  • Feeling of bloating
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Frequent burping
  • Loss of appetite and unintentional weight loss


How is H. Pylori diagnosed?

For the diagnosis of digestive pathologies such as H. Pylori infection, our gastroenterologists will conduct a thorough and personalized assessment of the digestive system’s health. Through a physical examination and an interview in which you can explain your symptoms, the gastroenterologist will determine if a specific H. Pylori test is necessary.

There are four types of tests:

  • Blood test: measures H. Pylori antibodies in the blood (but does not indicate whether an infection has occurred or not).
  • Breath test: using a urea drink, the presence of the bacterium will be recorded in the breath after 10 minutes.
  • Stool test: detects the presence of the bacterium.
  • Endoscopy: analyzes a sample of gastric mucosa (by biopsy) to detect the infection.


Based on the results obtained, the gastroenterologist will reach a diagnosis and prescribe a personalized treatment for you.

At CreuBlanca, our gastroenterologists examine and treat pathologies that cause damage to the digestive system, playing a key role in preventing possible complications and avoiding collateral damage. Schedule an appointment with one of our specialists.


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