You may have heard about a condition called “pyloric stenosis� (PS)”. This is a fairly common condition in which the valve at the bottom of the stomach becomes blocked, causing food to remain there for too long before it moves on to the intestines. The only way to treat it is through surgery, which in some cases can be life-altering. Because of this, it is considered a “surgery-worthy disease” and doctors are careful not to miss the chance to perform the operations, which are known as “pyloric stent placements”. There is also a less invasive treatment option known as Endoscopic Band Ligation (EBL). This is a method in which a band is placed around the pylorus, the part of the stomach that connects to the intestine. The pylorus gets its blood supply from the nerve endings in the stomach wall, so cutting it causes the body to re-grow new blood vessels, which in turn enables the patient to heal faster.
Just like many other diseases, PS can be caused by a bacteria called “Helicobacter pylori (H.Pylori)”. This bacteria thrives in the stomach and can irritate the stomach lining, causing the body’s defense mechanisms to react by producing acid. This acid helps to destroy the bacteria, but if it is too strong it can cause lasting damage. While there is no approved treatment for H.Pylori, medication such as Lansoprazole (Prevacid) can be used to decrease the acidity of the stomach and give the patient’s body a chance to recover.
Can I Get PS As An Adult?
According to the National Institutes of Health, around 75% of people will develop some sort of gastrointestinal condition in their lifetimes. While most people will experience heartburn or indigestion, around 10% will suffer from more serious conditions such as celiac disease, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s Disease. Because of this, many doctors are now recommending routine testing for these conditions even in people who don’t have any symptoms.
An estimated 1.9 million Americans have already been diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease, which is why many professionals believe that testing for it should be a standard part of your physician’s routine checkup. In most cases, the diagnosis can be made based on the symptoms alone, but if you have been tested and found to have it, you can start treating the condition with medications such as Prednisone (Pred) or antibiotics such as Clindamycin (Cleocin).
For people with ulcerative colitis, which is another type of gastrointestinal disorder, the average patient already discovers the condition at around 30 years of age. Like Crohn’s Disease, the diagnosis is usually made based on the symptoms alone, though in some cases it can be confirmed via a colonoscopy. Like PS patients, people with ulcerative colitis will also need to take medication to decrease their inflammation and to provide relief from the symptoms such as pain and diarrhea.
What Are The Risks Of Not Treating The Infection?
Forgoing treatment for H.Pylori infection puts the patient at risk for certain complications. Because the pylorus is where the stomach connects to the intestine, a blockage there can cause serious problems. One of the most dangerous complications is pancreatitis. This is an inflammation of the pancreas that can lead to damage of the gland, which in turn causes diabetes. Other complications include peptic ulcers and gastritis, which is an inflammation of the stomach lining.
While these complications are potentially life-altering, if you have a history of these issues in your family, you should consult with your doctor about whether or not to treat your H.Pylori infection. In general, if you are overweight or obese, you should also be screened for diabetes. If you are already taking prescription medications for other health issues, your doctor may recommend that you have your pancreas checked to see if you are at risk for developing diabetes.
In some cases, severe complications resulting from H.Pylori can be attributed to the fact that the bacteria have “gone viral”. For example, if you have co-infection with HIV and hepatitis C, your doctor may have to adjust your medications or treatment plan accordingly. Because of this, it is extremely important to be tested for HIV and hepatitis C before starting treatment for H.Pylori infection.
How Long Does It Usually Take For H.Pylori Treatment?
Treatment for H.Pylori usually takes one to two weeks for the medications to start showing results, and it takes an additional four weeks for the medications to fully take effect. In some cases, patients may need up to six weeks or more to fully recover. During this time, the patient should follow any instructions their doctor gives them for continuing to take their medications and following a healthy diet and lifestyle.
In most cases, H.Pylori infection can be successfully treated with a “rescue therapy”, which is medication prescribed after the initial treatment with antibiotics. In some cases, a second course of antibiotics is necessary to ensure the infection is completely gone. In these cases, a “rescue therapy” should be consulted with before the second course of antibiotics is administered.
If you are not seeing improved results from your course of antibiotics, your doctor may need to re-test you for other infections or ailments that could be causing your symptoms or interfering with the efficacy of the antibiotics. In some cases, other health issues may be contributing to your weight loss problems, so it is important to be certain of the root cause of your weight loss before making any significant changes to your diet or lifestyle.
What About Side Effects?
While the medications Avicil and Lansoprazole are generally safe and well-tolerated, there are still certain side effects that patients need to be aware of. The most common side effects from Avicil include diarrhea and nausea, while the most common side effects from Lansoprazole include diarrhea and vomiting.
In some cases, patients taking Avicil or Lansoprazole may experience “flatulence”, in which the body produces gases that cause a burping sensation. This can easily be alleviated by eating smaller meals or snacks more frequently. In some cases, particularly in children, the medications may cause “colic symptoms” or abdominal discomfort. This is why it is important to consult with your doctor if you are experiencing these issues.
In general, as long as your doctor is aware of your history of gastrointestinal problems and there are no signs of acute infection, they should have no reason to worry about you trying to lose weight. However, if you are already taking medications for other health issues, your doctor may have to adjust your treatment or medication accordingly.