If you walk into your doctor’s office with symptoms including
abdominal pain, bloating, frequent burping and heartburn you will likely
be evaluated for a potential H. pylori infection. This common bacterium
can, but does not always, cause unpleasant symptoms. However, if
symptoms do arise, it’s important to address the infection in order to
protect against chronic stomach inflammation, ulcers , increased risk of
stomach cancer and beyond. The most common treatment for Helicobacter
pylori is a combination of three medications – two antibiotics and an
acid suppressing drug.
The combination or “triple therapy”
described above is the current standard of care. Unfortunately, the
addition of certain complementary, natural treatments is not yet widely
accepted. But, that doesn’t mean that you can’t inform yourself about an
integrative approach to H. pylori
care. And, once you do, you can share the information you’ve learned
with your doctor in order to improve the quality of your care.
If I were diagnosed with an H. pylori infection I would incorporate
three, evidence-based natural approaches. For starters, I would eat a
few servings of probiotic yogurt every day for 4 weeks prior to
treatment and for several weeks following successful eradication. The
addition of kefir
and other cultured foods may also be of benefit. Vitamin C, at a dosage
of 500 mg, twice-daily, is another alternative therapy I would employ.
And finally, Saccharomyces boulardii is a probiotic yeast
that has been extensively studied in patients with H. pylori. These
foods and supplements have all been shown to improve treatment outcomes
and reduce drug-related side effects – diarrhea, nausea, yeast
infections, etc. What’s more they are inexpensive and safe.