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An Undiagnosed and Misunderstood Malady

One of the most enigmatic diseases I have noted through my years as a practitioner is Helicobacter pylori or H. pylori as it is most commonly referred to.  It is often misdiagnosed and definitely misunderstood.  Recently, I had a gastroenterologist (a specialist of the gut), tell me that he did not believe in it at all, that people had some other disease process.  He told me he never treated it, because he did not believe it caused any problems.  Perhaps I would have agreed with him, that is, if I had never been diagnosed with it myself.  For a number of years while I was in the U.S. Navy, I had slowly stopped being able to eat all kinds of foods and slowly I began to realize that I had to be very careful in virtually everything I ate or even drank.  But, I just thought it was what I had to deal with, and never thought there might be something wrong.  I would treat myself with Aloe Vera capsules that I would buy at the vitamin store and always made sure I had  those on hand to take daily.  I did this for a number of years until my own Mother was diagnosed with H. pylori.  The doctor told me her level was so high that it actually had to be diluted in order to be read.  So I then began researching this bacteria and I had to beg my doctor to test me. I find this still to be true, people will go to their doctors and the doctor refuses to test them! On my test, they found that I was equivocal, which in medical speak means that I was not positive nor was I negative.  So my doctor said I did not need treatment.  I persisted and ultimately we found that I had a duodenal ulcer and so I again had to beg him to treat me.  I now know it is monetarily driven.  My patients tell me their doctor refused to test or treat them for this bacteria, because if they have insurance the doctor will want to do a biopsy via an endoscopy.  Which to be honest may or may not find the bacteria, (because it is dependent on the doctor and where he pulls the biopsy samples from) but usually there will be a different medical procedure that will be recommended.  So what happened after I was treated?  To me it was absolutely fantastic, it was like night and day.  After I finished the two weeks of antibiotics, I went back to eating normally, I had no pain after eating, I had no pain before eating.  My life totally changed, and I did not believe that I could have been so debilitated for so long.  

So, why am I so passionate about this bacteria?  My patient population is the reason.  I have people who cry because the pain is so great, some come in with pain for years and they have been trying to self treat, and others just note they are unable to eat their special foods.  They are treated and then it is like a miracle, they truly feel better and are able to eat their regular diet.  Another reason I find it so interesting, is because the medical dogma surrounding this bacteria.  Throughout history it has been denied numerous times as existing, because the current medical idea of the time, medical doctors believed that because of the acid that is normally found in the stomach would not allow a bacteria to grow, even though there was significant evidence that it indeed did exist.  
Helicobacter pylori is a bacteria that has been traced back to the earliest human beings.  Tracing their route of travel from Africa through Europe and down through the Americas.  The DNA of the bacteria is important, because basically it will dictate if the bacteria will cause a stomach ulcer, or if it will actually cause stomach cancer, and there are other forms of the bacteria that are not felt to be harmful to humans.  It is also important if the patient has a trait of Interleukin-1 beta-31 which is reported to cause an increased production of stomach acid, which results in ulcers if the patient becomes infected with H. pylori. Patients without the trait do not develop stomach ulcers in response to H. pylori infection, but instead would have increased risk from stomach cancer if they become infected with the bacteria.  

The bacteria and it’s presence in the stomach can cause a myriad of problems, from diarrhea, constipation, pain with or without eating, spicy foods, cola drinks and milk are the common culprits, but probably the most interesting is the patient may note that they are suddenly afflicted with anxiety.  Their heart rate will increase, they feel like they are having an anxiety attack.  While not all cases of anxiety can be dealt with so easily, I feel it is important to check to see if this is something that can be eliminated as an obstacle to healing.  

I have been asked many times if there is something that can treat this bacteria naturally, and perhaps there is, but it has not been found to be absolute.  Although, if the levels of the bacteria is low, it may be that if the patient were prescribed Pyloricin, or a number of other natural treatments such as Aloe Vera, or high dose probiotics with certain bacteria that is present this may kill off the bacteria.  There has been some indications that red wine and yogurt may be effective also.  It would also be needed to be rechecked to determine if the bacteria was eradicated or completely eliminated about three months after the treatment.  It is my experience with medicine that when mainstream medicine instructs doctors that they need to use two antibiotics and a bismuth to treat something then it may be a more resolute bacteria.  It is important after the treatment for you to use a probiotic to repopulate your intestines with a good bacteria.   If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to ask.  

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