H. Pylori: Tips to Eliminate One Pesky Bacteria
H. Pylori - How to Eliminate the Great Infector!
Here we grow again!
It seems that dis-ease comes in waves, and as of late – H. pylori infections are mounting. Thus, this article! Whether it came into your body through undercooked chicken, raw eggs, using someone else’s cups or utensils, eating from someone else’s plate, the counter top, or simply from food or drink you consumed that was contaminated, the spread of this infection and the treatments for it are growing daily. In fact, the Worldwide Health Organization classifies H. pylori as a carcinogen, as it has been proven to cause stomach cancer while the National Institutes of Health (NIH) states over 50% of those over the age of 60 are infected and 20% of those under the age of 40 are infected!
Helicobacter pylori, otherwise known as H. pylori, is an opportunistic bacterium. This means one can have the bacteria for weeks or years without it growing, and then when the opportunity arises and the immune system is weak, it can proliferate. It is now estimated that over 50% of the total world’s population has elevated levels of this bacteria, with billions sporting dangerously high levels.
This bacteria spreads quickly in anyone with a compromised immune system. H. pylori has become the leading cause of stomach ulcers, peptic ulcers, poor digestion and stomach cancer. By the late 1900’s this spiral bacteria was found in animals. Soon after this discovery, the same bacteria started popping up in humans then infected by this H. pylori – after eating the animals infected by it.
Starting with the Basics…..
Bacteria can have one or two walls. Gram-positive bacteria have one cell wall, while Gram-negative bacterium have two cells walls. This double outer layer more effectively protects the bacterium and makes it harder for antimicrobial drugs and antimicrobial herbs to penetrate and kill the microorganism. Salmonella, E. coli, Shigella, and H. pylori are all Gram-negative and all have this protective double wall.
Cell membranes or cell walls are everything! They ARE the brains of the cells. You have heard me speak often about cell receptors (antennas) and pumps on the surfaces of cells. Gram-negative bacteria have an efflux pumps that dispense antibiotic medications all over their cell walls. These efflux pumps help microorganisms survive, adapt, and even develop antibiotic-resistant capabilities. This is why so often prescribed antibiotics do little to nothing against the war inside the body, and in this case, the stomach on H. pylori.
A quick note about the cell wall material (lipopolysaccharide (LPS) of these Gram-negative bacteria. LPS is extremely toxic to the liver, period. LPS causes fever and acts as a major inflammatory agent in the body. LPS is also an endotoxin and a major reason why leaky gut syndrome is so hazardous.
Let’s Learn About the Stomach
The stomach's environment is naturally harsh. The stomach produces mucus to protect itself from this environment and irritating food items. Elevated levels of H. pylori cause the stomach to not create as much of this protective mucus, and inflammation begins. And, so do stomach ulcers.
In an uninfected healthy individual, the stomach's pH is low and very acidic – 1.9 - 2.7. This creates an acidic environment in the stomach, which can destroy uninvited and unwanted invaders such as bacteria, parasites, microorganisms, etc., as well as digest proteins. Proteins break down into amino acids starting in the stomach. When an individual does not have a low enough pH, then proteins do not properly breakdown, and an individual may experience poor protein absorption.
The H. pylori bacteria however, can survive and even neutralize the hydrochloric acid raising the stomach's pH, causing acid reflux or heartburn. This aggressive bacteria also produces an enzyme, urease, which literally attacks and breaks down the urea in the stomach into carbon dioxide and ammonia.
Intrinsic factor is a protein created in your stomach which allows the small intestine to absorb B12. You guessed it. H. pylori shuts down the production of this intrinsic factor protein.
As foods exiting a stomach affected by H.pylori are not properly broken down, the entire digestive process is affected! An infected person can quickly see signs of leaky gut, inflammation, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), colitis, food sensitivities, cramping, constipation, poor absorption, and as the gut is the second brain – often those infected become depressed!
Recap Thus Far:
H. pylori reduces protective mucus in the stomach leading to stomach ulcers
H. pylori neutralizes stomach acids causing a higher pH leading to acid reflux
H. pylori disables the body’s ability to properly break down proteins into amino acids
H. pylori produces the enzyme urease which breaks down the stomachs urea.
H. pylori shuts down production of intrinsic factor, causing a B12 deficiency AKA pernicious anemia.
H. pylori affects the entire digestive process
H. pylori causes depression
How to Contract H. pylori (if you really want it):
CHICKEN – undercooked chicken is everywhere! People leave their frozen chicken on counters to defrost and bacteria grow, soak chicken in water, and simply do not cook it well enough. Restaurants everywhere worldwide are found daily undercooking their chicken!
I was taking a group of girls to camp, and the leaders wanted a fast food break.
Yuck. Reluctantly I drove up to the drive through and ordered what the van passengers called out for. When one of the girls excitedly unwrapped her chicken wrap and took a bite I heard a scream! When she passed it up for my inspection, low and behold the outer coating had been deep-fried and was hot, but the entire chicken inside was raw and uncooked!
Once you have been exposed…..H. pylori can just wait and hide inside your cells. That is why it is called an opportunistic organism – it waits for the correct and best time to flourish. Usually when the immune system is weak – so there is no army protecting your cells!
This microorganism spreads quickly through saliva, so is easily transmitted. The family dinner table, the kitchen, child care centers, hospitals, and food establishments are the most common areas of transmittal and infection. Even just having a roommate that shares food or does not do dishes well can leave you with the most unpleasant infection.
Literally, how many times has mom, dad, the roommate, or you yourself taste tested soup, a noodle dish or a sauce only to put the utensil back into the pot? If the said person has H. pylori – it can spread to all those who eat the food.
Food served at restaurants, potlucks, salad bars, anywhere can contain this sneaky bacteria.
Symptoms of H. pylori Infection
Mild to severe abdominal pain, bloating after you eat, burping, acid reflux or feelings of heartburn, bad breath, nausea and sometime vomiting, sometimes with bleeding out one of both ends. H. pylori that is not treated can lead to many upper gastrointestinal disorders such as chronic gastritis, peptic ulcers, gastric mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma, and gastric cancer.
Naturally Treating H. pylori
The earlier the better. As H. pylori is aggressive, this bacteria is best killed early on, but that is hard to do! Not many people infected even know they are infected. Someone can have this bacteria growth underlying years of symptoms and not even know it is H. pylori.
Today we see numerous reports of people with high levels of this bacteria now experiencing great pain and discomfort.
A very recent study published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research, a Johns Hopkins researcher, Jed W. Fahey, M.S., Sc.D., and an international team of scientists concluded that eating broccoli sprouts daily reduced the level of HpSA (a highly specific measure of the presence of H. pylori) by a whopping 40 percent.
The natural compound sulforaphane is found in high levels in broccoli sprouts. In 2002 Dr. Fahey, a nutritional biochemist in the Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Cancer Chemoprotection Center at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and his colleagues at Johns Hopkins reported that sulforaphane was a potent weapon against H. pylori. "We know that a dose of a couple ounces a day of broccoli sprouts is enough to elevate the body's protective enzymes," Dr. Fahey explained. "That is the mechanism by which we think a lot of the chemoprotective effects are occurring." Dr. Fahey also stated, "The highlight of the study is that we identified a food that, if eaten regularly, might potentially have an effect on the cause of a lot of gastric problems and perhaps even ultimately help prevent stomach cancer."
Sulforaphane is also found in cabbage and kimchi. Eating cooked cabbage may be soothing. As raw sauerkraut and kimchi are fermented foods, they also contain a great number of useful bacteria that replace H.pylori in the gastric mucosa upon entering the stomach. These healthy microorganisms also help in keeping an ideal pH in the stomach.
Cabbage is naturally high in Vitamin C (thought to inhibit H. Pylori) and also contains glutamine (an amino acid), that can boost stomach circulation. As cabbage is high in sulfur, it is also good for pain and inflammation.
You can cook cabbage, but better yet is the fresh juice of the cabbage. Raw cabbage juice is great, but you can also add a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil fresh pressed (EXTRA Virgin only), celery, parsley or aloe juice. Newer studies have even found cranberries can inhibit H. pylori from adhering to stomach lining.
Natural Remedies for Infections or to Prevent Infections:
Aloe Vera juice
Take turmeric to control the inflammation
Do oil pulling with coconut oil for 10-15 minutes daily
Drink licorice root tea
Eat 2-3 oz. of broccoli sprouts daily
Eat 1-2 fresh cloves of garlic daily
Lemongrass Essential oil
Raw cabbage juice
Take slippery elm to heal the leaky gut (H.pylori can eat holes in the gut lining)
Drink water with freshly squeezed lemon and/or apple cider vinegar
Drink water with a teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in it twice a day
Enjoy an antimicrobial diet
Eat onions and herbs such as oregano, basil, thyme, ginger
Olive leaf extract
Homeopathy is a great way to sooth and calm the stomach and lining
And studies have been done using Pine Nut oil to treat H. pylori.
Last but NOT least - try using the NAET technique. NAET was discovered by Dr. Devi S. Nambudripad and stands for Nambudripad's Allergy Elimination Technique. It is a non-invasive, drug free, natural solution to alleviating allergies. The system uses a blend of energy balancing, testing and treatment procedures from acupuncture/acupressure, allopathy, chiropractic, nutritional, and kinesiological disciplines of medicine. I myself used a version of this technique raising out children for many things!
Using he Gaps diet and NAET has helped many elevate allergies, and the nasty bacteria you all know a bit about now - H.Pylori!
NOTE: Sometimes an antibiotic can work to help treat this bacteria, but it will take the body 8-12 months of repair to regrow the important healthy bacteria colonies also killed off by the antibiotic. Frequently antibiotics do not work as the bacteria itself is becoming antibiotic resistant. Thus, we may kill off the entire population of our important healthy bacteria to no avail. PLUS if you do treat with antibiotics, you need 3-4 different ones at the same time! If a doctor gives you one antibiotic to treat H. pylori- you know he does not know much about this bacteria, so find a new doctor or practitioner.
Smoking, alcohol, coffee, spicy foods, drugs and commercial antacids.
H. pylori – Do you Have it?
There are several tests that are used to detect H. pylori:
A stomach biopsy.
A blood test checks to see if your body has made antibodies to H. pylori bacteria now or in the past.
A urea breath test checks to see if you have H. pylori bacteria in your stomach.
A stool antigen test checks to see if the substances that trigger the immune system to fight an H. pylori infection are present in your feces.
The Standard Medical Course of Treatment:
Proton pump inhibitors such as omeprazole and two - four different antibiotics which may include: clarithromycin and amoxicillin. The major downside of this medical approach is that sometimes it does not work, and it will leave your immune system and intestinal flora compromised. Your compromised immune system is how you got this infection in the first place!
Another Natural, Safe Approach:
· Mastic Gum (e.g. Nutricology Mastic Gum, 120 Vegetarian Capsules on Amazon.com)
· Triphala powder (e.g. Banyan Botanicals Triphala Powder- Certified Organic on Amazon.com)
· Cat’s Claw ( e.g. Cat’s Claw Inner Bark Powder Wildcrafted on Amazon.com)
In the Morning take: 1 tsp of Cat’s Claw mixed with ½ of cup of hot water. Let it steep for 15 min, add 2 tsp of lemon juice. Drink on empty stomach. Then take one capsule of Mastic Gum.
In the evening mix 1 tsp of triphala in ½ cup of warm water and drink before bedtime along with one capsule of Mastic Gum.
After one month add another capsule of Mastic Gum at lunch time.
During any treatment approach you use, ask your doctor for an H. pylori breath or blood test to verify that your treatment has been successful!
Now go protect yourself from this invasive bacteria with healthy living, healthy foods and one kick but immune system!
Karen's Holistic Health.com
Sources for this article:
How Eating Kimchi Prevents Lethal Cancer, October, 2015
Cynthia Burrows, M.T. CWC, Herbalist, M.T. CWC, Herbali