A food poisoning incident in a family dinner in Jixi city of Heilongjiang province, has caused deaths recently. Bongkrekic acid contamination is a leading cause for severe food poisoning and deaths and it is suspected to be responsible for this incident. Its heat resistant trait makes it hard to break down even if the food is cooked under 100℃ or steamed in a pressure cooker.
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori ) is also a bacteria surrounding us that can survive in the worst environment and make half of the world’s population suffer. According to the Chinese consensus on eradication of Helicobacter pylori and prevention & control of gastric cancer published in the Chinese Journal of Digestion in 2019, H. pylori infection is the leading cause for stomach cancer in China. 15%- 20% of patients have developed peptic ulcer, 5% - 10% of patients have developed H. pylori-related indigestion, 1% have developed malignant tumours in the stomach.
Helicobacter pylori stays in the mucosal tissue of the stomach, and causes diseases like chronic gastritis and peptic ulcers. It is recognised as group 1 carcinogen by the WHO, and is closely related to the diseases such as stomach cancer, mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma etc. If we have H. pylori in our stomach, diseases like gastritis, peptic ulcer, lymphoid hyperplasia are coming after us and stomach cancer will occur if no timely remedy is carried out. In China, stomach cancer has the second most deaths among all cancers.
Around 50% of the world’s population are infected with H. pylori. The prevalence of H. pylori infection varies widely among countries and regions, and among different ethnic groups, depending on socioeconomic level, population density, public health conditions, and water supply. eason . The infection rate of H. pylori will also increase with age. The rate in developing countries is usually higher of about 50%-80% while it is lower in developed countries of about 25%-50%. The rate in China is around 50%.
H. pylori is responsible for stomach discomfort. The reason why there are so many people suffering from chronic gastritis and peptic ulcer is also because of this. However, some significant symptoms will appear if H. pylori is invading and it is recommended to take suitable and timely treatment if you feel unwell. It is the only way to restore the health of your stomach by eliminating all the H. pylori in there.
How do we get H. pylori?
- Food & Drink
You may get H. pylori from eating raw food. More and more people like eating sashimi as they want to have the freshest taste, and the original flavour of the food. Other than getting H. pylori, you may also get parasitic worms. The risk of catching H. pylori will increase if you are a frequent sashimi eater.
- Public Goods
H. pylori can be transmitted through saliva. If we often eat out, we may come into contact with some public goods that are not being sterilised at high temperature. From that, we are prone to infect H. pylori if we are using utensils that were previously used by people infected with H. pylori.
- Bad Personal Hygiene
Some people with bad personal hygiene will not wash their hands after going to the toilet. Their hands are likely to be contaminated with H. pylori as it exists in the mouth and stomach, and in stools.
Those unwashed hands will infect their owner with H. pylori, spread it and put other’s health in great danger.
Important signal of H. pylori!
People can be infected with H. pylori without any significant symptoms and the symptoms vary depending on the infected areas. 30% of the infection will develop into chronic gastritis while 10%-20% will develop into peptic ulcer and very few of the infection will develop into stomach cancer and mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma.
- Loss of appetite
You will have a bad appetite after being infected with H. pylori. It is because the infection will damage the stomach function and slow down the digestion process. The body will ring the alarm by having a bad appetite if the body cannot obtain enough nutrients from food. Therefore, it is recommended to conduct some tests if you have noticed that you are losing your appetite and are having trouble having a stable meal timing.
- Stomach Ache
One of the symptoms of H. pylori infection is having unexplained, painful stomach ache. The stomach is inflamed when the H. pylori has stayed in the stomach for a period of time. The inflamed gastric mucosa is further irritated by the gastric acid and causes persistent stomach ache.
Therefore, it is recommended for those who have persistent stomach ache to conduct some tests for H. pylori investigation. The infection can be managed by treatments and avoid stomach disorders.
Frequent unexplained bloating and upper abdomen discomfort can be because of H. pylori infection. Foods accumulate in the stomach as the digestion is not going well after H. pylori infection. This will create a big amount of gas, making it easy to feel bloated.
Therefore, it is recommended to stay alert if you have frequent unexplained bloating and upper abdomen discomfort after meals.
- Nausea and Vomiting
When infected with H. pylori, many people experience vomiting. Your body can only be functioning well when the stomach is functioning normally to digest food and provide nutrients. People with H. pylori infection may throw up after eating. This only appears when the digestive function is damaged.
When the stomach is damaged, the patient will puke easily under irritation in the stomach. Keep an eye on bacterial infection when there is any unexplained vomiting. Use medication timely and keep a healthy lifestyle to improve the condition.
- Heart Burn
The secretion of stomach acid will increase as the stomach is not functioning normally after H. pylori infection. This will cause heartburn and affect the oesophageal mucosa. Conduct tests to further investigate the reason and make timely remedy once the condition persists.
Prevention of H. pylori
Helicobacter pylori is contagious and can be transmitted through direct contact with dirty hands, dirty food, dirty cutleries, faeces etc. The habit of maintaining good personal hygiene is crucial in staying away from H. pylori infection and transmission.
- Wash your hands before eating and after going to the toilet: eat cooked food, drink boiled water, wash and peel the fruits and vegetables before eating them raw.
- Maintain Good Oral Hygiene: H. pylori can replicate on tartar that is hard to clean and may cause bad breath. It is recommended to keep good oral hygiene by brushing and rinsing your mouth after each meal, changing your toothbrush and sanitising your cups and utensils regularly.
- Regular Body Check: Living with family members who are infected with H. pylori are at high risk of getting it too. Having a regular body check allows early prevention of the infection and conducts timely treatment.
- Proactive Measures: H. pylori infection appears in household clusters. Taking proactive measures can prevent recurrence and spreading the infection.
*Photos are extracted from the Internet, please contact us if copyright infringement has occurred. The above information is for reference only. Seek medical assistance immediately if you feel unwell.