Stomach pain is a common ailment that affects many individuals, and it can stem from various causes.
However, when the pain does not improve, and the stomach ache persists, it is advisable to seek the expertise of a specialist. Some individuals experience chronic stomach pain, which either does not subside or recurs frequently.
So, how should one deal with this situation?
Stomach Pain and Stress
Stomach pain is often associated with stress, especially when considering the current pandemic period we are going through. But what does this connection entail?
During this period, we have witnessed an unprecedented rise in individuals with anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, and panic attacks—all of which can manifest as gastrointestinal symptoms.
Nevertheless, it is essential to approach stomach pain within the context of a comprehensive gastroenterological examination. This examination requires close attention to the patient’s overall well-being, considering their physical and behavioral characteristics. Factors such as lifestyle and weight status should also be considered.
Stomach Pain and the Helicobacter pylori Infection
When symptoms of stomach pain persist, one of the initial examinations to consider is testing for Helicobacter pylori infection.
Helicobacter pylori infection can occur at any age, although certain risk factors increase the likelihood of exposure to this bacterium.
For instance, Helicobacter pylori is commonly found in individuals who:
- suffer from frequent headaches
- have experienced a heart attack
- are heavy smokers
- are overweight
- have an unhealthy diet
Additionally, nurses, doctors, and military personnel residing in barracks are more prone to contracting this infection.
Tests and Examination
There are several tests available to detect Helicobacter pylori, including:
- breath test or Urea breath test
- gastroscopy with biopsy
- stool analysis
However, searching for HP antibodies is becoming less common in clinical practice due to a higher risk of false negatives.
Patients experiencing frequent stomach pain often have prior knowledge of their discomfort, may have undergone previous investigations, and may be aware of any family history related to the condition. In such cases, the medical visit becomes more informative, allowing for the gathering of valuable data through experience and observation. This information can guide the diagnosis and help recommend more targeted examinations.
Are there other symptoms associated with Helicobacter stomach pain besides pain?
Helicobacter infection can be suspected in cases of:
- Sideropenic anemia
- Vitamin B12 deficiency
- Certain dermatological and allergic conditions
Helicobacter stomach pain treatment
The primary treatment approach involves antibiotic therapy, typically combining multiple antibiotics and antisecretive medications. The specific antibiotics used may vary based on the antibiotic resistance prevalent in the geographical area of infection.
In some cases, Helicobacter pylori culture can be conducted to determine antibiotic resistance, allowing for targeted therapy, especially in cases of antibiotic resistance.