HP is a bacterial infection of the stomach lining that affects approximately 50% of the UK population. There are various degrees of infection and various strains and it will affect us all differently. Some will have digestive symptoms and abdominal discomfort while others will not even know they have it at all.
We contract HP by drinking out of other people’s cups, kissing adults and children or even from the food that has been sitting around for a little too long. Some experts believe that it is healthy to have HP but for those who test positive and have symptoms then this information I hope will be of help to you.
HP reduces hydrochloric acid (HCl) in the stomach which is one of our main defences against incoming infections from the outside world. HCl is also part of the chain of reactions that allow us to break down our food and especially proteins which are stronger in structure. Low stomach acid equals poor digestion overall and reduced immunity.
Low stomach acid also creates an environment in which the relatively small amounts of bacteria in the small intestine can feed on this partially broken down food. This then produces a perfect arena in which candida and yeast can flourish. Symptoms such as flatulence, belching, bad breath, acid reflux, indigestion and general abdominal discomfort may be the result of such an environment.
Those with HP often have a poor ileocaecal value which is the value connecting the small intestines to the colon. This can produce pain and discomfort and any number of conditions. HP may also be an underlying issue for those suffering from fatigue as this infection reduces our nutrient uptake and our energy levels suffer as a consequence.
Studies have found that heart and auto-immune diseases often have low grade infections in the stomach. Again, gut symptoms may not be evident to that person but what is happening is that the offending inflammation is attacking those areas of the body that are the weakest, which could mean anywhere.
For years it has been thought that HP caused stomach ulcers or even stomach cancer but the latest research shows that HP flares up during stressful times and that stress is the root cause of the flare up and not the HP itself. During stressful times the body produces cortisol from the adrenal glands but when there is not enough cortisol to deal with both the emotions of the outside world and the infection itself then the infection flares up and symptoms appear.
The test for HP is via a blood sample which looks for antibodies. Antibodies can stay in our system for many years protecting us so a positive test result may be from a previous infection and not one that is present now. Antibody levels can also drop so there can be a negative result when in fact we still have a full blown HP infection. A breath test is also used but unless the infection is severe it will not always be helpful. The Antigen Stool Test is worth researching though as a positive result means you have the infection right now and not in the past. Even this test can give a false negative so if symptoms persist, retest.
If a test comes back positive then put the brakes on the stress as the adrenal glands need a rest and support these glands with herbs and supplements. HP really is secondary to what is going on in your life so try to deal with lifestyle changes first via diet, exercise, relaxation, relationships, work load etc. Changes should be made for around 60 days before you begin to tackle the infection itself. Without these lifestyle changes I’m afraid the HP medications, whether a GP prescription or natural remedies, may find it hard to do their job effectively.
Just one last note for those who like to look at things energetically; we experience and feel fear in the gut and the HP infection occurs on a circuit that is in a worry/anxiety area on the 3rd chakra. There is a great deal going on here on an energetic level so that’s why it’s so important to look at the wider picture and consider our relationships, work load, spirituality etc.
If you wish to follow a natural protocol for HP then consider doing your own research, visit a natural practitioner near you or visit Kalishwellness.com for further information.
An important note: If you have been prescribed medication from your GP then do not stop or reduce it unless you have discussed it with him/her first.