Loading icon
Press enter or spacebar to select a desired language.
Health Information Center

Helicobacter Pylori Infection

  • Marjorie Montemayor-Quellenberg, MA
Publication Type:


Helicobacter Pylori Infection

(H. Pylori Infection)


H. pylori is a type of bacteria. It can infect the stomach and intestines and lead to:

Gastric Ulcer.

http://services.epnet.com/getimage.aspx?imageiid=25452545si1454.jpgGastric UlcerNULLjpgGastric UlcerNULL\\filer01\Intellect\images\si1454.jpgCopyright © 2002 Nucleus Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.24NULL2002-10-01255391Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.


Bacteria can be spread from person to person. It can spread through contact with an infected person's:

  • Saliva
  • Feces (poop)

It may also be spread through infected food or water.

Risk Factors

Things that may raise the risk of H. pylori infection include:

  • Close contact with a person who is infected with it
  • A crowded and unsanitary living environment
  • Poor hand washing habits, especially when caring for children and after changing diapers


H. pylori may not cause symptoms. The infection can cause ulcers or gastritis. A person who has problems caused by H. pylori may have:

  • Belly pain that may:
    • Wake them from sleeping
    • Change when they eat
    • Last for a few minutes or several hours
    • Feel like very strong hunger pangs
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Bloating
  • Black, tarry, or bloody stools
  • Burping
  • Vomiting blood
  • Lightheadedness


The doctor will ask about symptoms and past health. A physical exam will be done.

Tests may include:

  • Urea breath test—looking for gases made by H. pylori in the breath
  • Looking for signs of H. pylori through:
    • Blood tests
    • Stool test
  • Endoscopy—a tube is passed down the throat. A sample of fluid or tissue will be removed. Lab tests will show if H. pylori is there.


The goal of treatment is to get rid of H. pylori. Antibiotics will treat the infection.

Damage to the stomach may take some time to heal. Symptoms may be managed with medicine such as:

  • H2 blockers
  • Proton pump inhibitors
  • Antacids

Tests for H. pylori may need to be done again to make sure the infection is gone. Scopes of the stomach may also be done again to make sure any damage is healing.


H. pylori may be spread through food and water. Steps to prevent this type of infection include:

  • Washing hands after using the bathroom. Wash before eating or making meals.
  • Drinking water from a safe source.




  • Helicobacter pylori infection. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/helicobacter-pylori-infection-16.
  • Travelers health: Helicobacter pylori. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2018/infectious-diseases-related-to-travel/helicobacter-pylori.
  • Weyermann, M., Rothenbacher, D., et al. Acquisition of Helicobacter pylori infection in early childhood: independent contributions of infected mothers, fathers, and siblings. American Journal of Gastroenterology, 2009; 104 (1): 182-189.
  • 9/22/2014 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance https://www.dynamed.com/condition/helicobacter-pylori-infection: Fuccio, L., Zagari, R.M., et al. Meta-analysis: Can Helicobacter pylori eradication treatment reduce the risk for gastric cancer? Annals of Internal Medicine, 2009; 151 (2): 121-128.


  • Chelsea Skucek, MSN, BS, RNC-NIC
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.