GERD and H. Pylori - a link?

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zoom77
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 8/12/2005 4:27 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm new to the forum... my husband has suffered from chronic heartburn for several years and recently tested positive for H. Pylori. The doctor put him on a course of antibiotics to kill the H. Pylori, and we were quite familiar with the antibiotics because several members of his family have suffered from ulcers and were put on similar regimes, after which their ulcers disappeared. He is from a country with very high rates of h. Pylori infection.

I am curious about the connection between h. pylori and GERD, and found the link below through this forum.

Could there be a pharmaceutical industry conspiracy to suppress studies showing a link between GERD and h. Pylori? After all, if there is no real cure for GERD you have to be on medicine for life, making you a lifetime customer for medicines that manage your conditions without ever really resolving them. That's kind of depressing, and reminds me of the old treatment for ulcers (avoid spicy, acidic, or fatty foods) before they discovered h. Pylori in the 1980s.

Anyone else out there been tested for h. Pylori and found antibiotic therapy (lansoprazole, amoxicillin, clarithromycin) to be effective in relieving GERD?

See the study below...

---
There are several reasons for eradicating Helicobacter pylori in patients with chronic gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Perhaps the most compelling is the evidence that chronic acid suppression therapy can lead to the development of atrophic gastritis, a premalignant condition, in patients with H pylori infection. Epidemiological data that suggest that H pylori is less prevalent in GERD patients than in control subjects may be susceptible to publication bias, and confounding social and environmental factors may also be involved. Although it has been thought that eradication of the organism might lead to increased esophageal acid exposure, this has not been demonstrated in practice. Studies that appeared to show that GERD could be provoked by antimicrobial therapy of duodenal ulcers also have methodological weaknesses. Underlying GERD symptoms might be unmasked after withdrawal of acid-suppression therapy, for reasons that are unrelated to H pylori. In fact, eradication of the organism has been shown to decrease heartburn in patients with peptic ulcer disease. When H pylori is successfully eradicated in patients with GERD, relapse rates are not increased, and the disease-free interval seems to be prolonged. Eradication of the organism is a wise policy in patients who face long term acid-suppression therapy for GERD.

http://www.pulsus.com/Gastro/16_09/omar_ed.htm

VV
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Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1849
   Posted 8/12/2005 8:08 PM (GMT -6)   
I was tested in April 2005, w/positive results for H-Pylori. My high dosage treatment seemed to suppress Gerd symptoms, but reappeared more pronounced about 3 months afterwards.

Some seem to think that H-Pylori causes Gerd or Gerd causes H-Pylori. Puzzling!

My GI indicated that the endo didn't reveal whether I truly had Gerd because of prior med use. He indicated continuing meds if I encounted problems after H-Pylori treatment. I met w/him 2 days ago, and i'm going to have a (breathing) test conducted next week to determine whether I still have H-Pylori. My understanding is that it is extremely hard to completely eradicate H-Pylori and it will produce other problems as well.

I have recently starting taking Prolisec for the second time, but dosage has increased to 40mg a day. It seems to be effective at this time.

I hope your husband feels better soon, and, hopefully, the treatment eradicates H-Pylori in him.

I'm curious, does your husband have any strange symptoms? I have visited another forum in the past where many have c/o strange symp assoc w/H-Pylori.

Take care and please keep us updated

Vanessa

Teri16
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Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 5230
   Posted 8/12/2005 9:25 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi and Welcome Zoom! tongue

I had never heard of GERD being caused by HPylori Bacteria.  The bacteria from my understanding causes an infection which in turn causes ulcers and gastritis.  That's why it can be helped with antibiotic therapy, since it's a bacteria.  GERD is usually brought on by other physical factors, like a relaxed LES, but not an infection from a bacteria, at least from what I've been told by my Dr.'s and from what I've read.  Interesting...Teri :)

http://www.cdc.gov/ulcer/md.htm#illnesses


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zoom77
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 8/13/2005 7:07 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Teri and Vanessa,

Vanessa, to answer your questions, his symptoms have always been heartburn-like -- several times a week, more at times of stress, and caused by almost any kind of food except the most bland. No unusual symptoms, but maybe what he has is not heartburn but gastritis. I don't know. Prilosec always worked but made him feel weird, and the symptoms came back as soon as he stopped taking it. We'll see how the Prevpac works-- looks like the success rates for getting rid of h. Pylori with this combination of drugs are only about 87%. Best of luck getting rid of your symptoms...

I found several other interesting studies-- first they seemed to think that removing h. Pylori worsened GERD, but then a number of studies in the past three years have contradicted that:

http://www.patienthealthinternational.com/archivenews/3002.aspx
http://www.webgerd.com/Hpylori.htm

What I do know is that almost all the people I know from my husband's country (which is a developing country) seem to have a great deal more stomach trouble (GERD, ulcers, etc) than most people I know in America. I hear more of people dying of stomach cancer as well. Scary.

Norm1
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 326
   Posted 8/15/2005 8:33 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi,
I believe that during the course of antibiotics to erradicate H. Pylori, you are also inhibiting your population of intestinal bacteria. These bacteria consume the excess carbohydrates in your diet and as a result produce gas. I belive this gas (hydrogen, Carbon dioxide and often times methane) is what drives reflux. It makes sense that the antibiotics might temporarily stop reflux depending on the type of antibiotic used. Erythromycin has been shown to have a positive impact on reflux, though the authors did not understand the reason. The reason the reflux comes back is because you either stop the antiobiotics or a new and resistant population emerges in your intestines and resumes gas production. The way to stop reflux is to reduce your consumption of excess carbohydrates. I recently have written a book on this, though, unfortuantely I cannot promote the book due to the rules of the message board.
 
Please do consider the very effective approach.
 
Dr. Norm

VV
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1849
   Posted 8/15/2005 8:44 AM (GMT -6)   
Dr Norm,
Thanks for your response, what you've written on H-Pylori & Reflux makes perfectly good sense to me. Not sure where to find your book, but recall seeing a link to your website. Will check it out.



Thanks,
Vanessa

Norm1
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 326
   Posted 8/15/2005 8:59 AM (GMT -6)   
Vanessa,
Nice to hear from you again. By the way, H. Pylori (while associated with peptic ulcers) is generally not thought to be associated with heartburn, because this bacterium has evolved mechanisms (like ureas enzyme to produce ammonia (basic) from urea) to reduce stomach acidity in order to survive in this hostile environment. This bacterium may even reduce heartburn symptoms according to some.
 
Take Care,
Dr. Norm

rcoker05
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 8/15/2005 12:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Why would you consider nuking H. Pylori with antibiotics when you can eliminate the bad effects of H. Pylori with the healthful probiotics (acidophilus, etc.) in yogurt. Antibiotics nuke all the healthful bacteria in your GI tract, which are the basis for good digestion.

zoom77
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 8/15/2005 2:11 PM (GMT -6)   
He's tried yogurt before, but it hasn't done anything to get rid of the h. pylori. My concern is also the links between h. pylori and stomach cancer...

rcoker05
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 8/15/2005 2:33 PM (GMT -6)   
All bets are off for those who take antibiotics and pharmaceuticals. No food can cure th e damage these agents cause. 

Norm1
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 326
   Posted 8/15/2005 11:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Though H.Pylori is not generally considered a contributing cause of GERD, the risk of peptic ulcers (some strains of pylori have a syringe-like protein that "injects" proteins through the somach lining to down regulate acid production according to a recent Scientific American article. That type of activity is thought to potentially result in ulcers), are a good reason to get rid of it. Your gut microbial population is resiliant and will adjust once you stop treatment.

bdr1
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 121
   Posted 8/20/2005 3:08 PM (GMT -6)   
A quick note ...

H. Pylori is a very questionable debate. It is a bacterium that has evolved because of where & what we eat. You'll see that many Asian populations have almost 100% H. Pylori infection because of the poor sanitation combined with the high intake of raw foods.

That said, if you doctor tests you for it -- he is required by law (as H. Pylori can be a pre-cursor to a type of cancer) to treat you for it. The PrevPac (the combination that you described) is quite effective at treating the infection, however, as antibiotic resistance has increased --- many other medications can be prescribed if your husband is still positive for H. Pylori.

Additionally -- after being treated for H. Pylori, patients often still have GERD or reflux-like symptoms. Treatment with a PPI (because of the relaxation in the LES) is often continued after H. Pylori treatment because your body is still refluxing -- it's just that the pH of what you're refluxing is no longer presenting symptoms and is not damaging your esophogus.

I'd stick to medical science ... the pharmaceutical companies are in the business of making money. If they could package all of the "cures" that naturopathic people say works - they would. The honest truth is that there simply is no evidence to support the claims that many of the "supplement" companies place on their bottles (and ... due to FDA de-regulation of the "supplement" products, they're not required to support their claims with peer-reviewed, factual research).
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