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Helicobacter pylori commonly known as h-pylori is a bacterium that affects over 50% of the world’s population. The bacteria is common in the developing countries than in developed countries and it may not cause illness to some infected people and increase the risk stomach ulcers to others.
H-pylori bacteria grow in the digestive tract and it attacks the stomach lining. The bacteria can affect an individual right from childhood and stay in the body for a long time. It can cause ulcers in the small intestines or stomach lining. Look at the pros and cons of H. pylori bacteria.
1. Adaptive: H-pylori can adapt to the acidic environment within the stomach. The bacteria adapt to stay on the lower surface of the gastric mucosa for a long time acting as the flora in the human stomach. It also changes the condition of the surrounding environment so that the bacteria can survive.
2. Harmless infection: Most of the h-pylori bacterial infection is harmless although it can cause ulcers in the stomach and small intestine issues.
3. Human microbiome: Over the years, the bacteria has become a strategic member of human microbiome resulting in gastric colonization. The bacteria can thrive on the surface of human gastric epithelial cells since childbirth to old age.
4. Low risk of esophageal adenocarcinoma: CagA-positive
H. Pylori infection leads to reduced risk of esophageal adenocarcinoma. Proper hygiene and improved sanitation have also contributed to the reduced gastric cancer.
5. Reduced gastric cardia cancer: A research carried out shows that H-pylori infections lead to a reduced risk of
gastric cancer incidence in western countries although there is no consistency in the results.
6. A decline in stomach acidity: The bacteria reduces the acidity in the stomach which results in reduced influx in the esophagus. Reduced influx reduces the risk of affecting adenocarcinomas in the upper stomach lining.
7. Mucus protection: The bacteria is spiral shaped and once it gets in the body, mucous membrane protects it and the body’s immune cells can’t reach it.
1. Cause stomach cancer: H-Pylori infection results in certain types of stomach cancer if not treated for a long time.
2. Results in ulcers: H-pylori can damage the protective lining and the small intestines making stomach acid create an open sore known as ulcers.
3. Stomach irritation: It can cause inflammation of the stomach. It causes some irritations in the stomach lining causing some inflammations like gastritis.
4. Easily spread: The bacteria can be passed from one individual to another through contaminated food, water, saliva or vomit of infected person.
5. Symptoms: It is not easy to know you have the h-pylori infection unless you go for the screening. Most of the time there are no signs or symptoms you’re infected by the bacteria.
6. Internal bleeding: It can result in internal bleeding when peptic ulcer break through the blood vessel. This can lead to iron deficiency anemia in the body.
7. Food obstruction: H. Pylori infection may result in obstruction of food from leaving the stomach. A tumor formed as a result of the infection blocks the food from leaving the stomach.
8. Cause perforation: This condition may occur when the ulcers break through the stomach wall. H-pylori causes more complications.
9. Cause gastritis: If H. pylori bacteria is left untreated for a long time, it causes gastritis. Either acute gastritis or chronic gastritis and if the bacteria progresses. It results in peptic ulcer.
10. Human pathogen: It’s highly adaptable and persistent in the stomach has made it the most successful human pathogen.