Tue, Sep 10, 2019 - Page 4 News List

Lower stomach acid aids H pylori infection: doctor

By Su Chin-feng and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

People with Helicobacter pylori infections should avoid milk, coffee, tea and other substances that increase stomach acid levels, a doctor in Taichung said on Thursday.

H pylori infection can cause upper gastrointestinal diseases such as gastritis, stomach and duodenal ulcers and stomach cancer, Asia University Hospital gastroenterologist Chang Chia-shi (張家熙) said.

According to the Ministry of Health and Welfare, more than 10 million people in Taiwan have contracted H plyori infections by sharing meals, kissing, eating uncooked foods or poor oral hygiene, he said.

It is typically treated by a drug cocktail of proton pump inhibitors and the antibiotics clarithromycin and amoxicillin, which is effective 90 percent of the time, he said, adding that reinfection, antibiotic resistance, smoking and some diets can cause the treatment to fail.

A woman surnamed Wei (衛), 55, underwent three rounds of failed treatments before doctors realized she was drinking coffee, tea and milk daily, which interfered with the drugs, Chang said.

Symptoms of stomach diseases include sensations of swelling, pain or heat in the upper abdomen; burping or nausea; and passing black or bloody stools, he said, adding that people should consult a doctor if they experience such symptoms.

Those successfully treated are frequently re-infected due to the virulence of the bacteria, while personal hygiene is an important prevention factor, he said.

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