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H.Pylori Essay

1371 words - 5 pages

H. Pylori EssayBefore 1982, when H. Pylori (Helicobacter Pylori) was discovered, spicy foods, acid, stress, and lifestyle were assumed to be the major causes of ulcers. People were given H2 blockers and PPI's (Proton Pump Inhibitors), but they were told that there was no permanent cure for the pain they were experiencing. Now that H. Pylori has been found to be the cause for more than 90% of duodenal ulcers and 80% of gastric ulcers, people can be given the appropriate antibiotics to successfully get rid of the infection. The purpose of this paper is to inform people on H. Pylori, including people most likely at risk, tests to discover if you have it, treatments, and what infection can lead to if left untreated.H. Pylori is an emerging infectious disease. It can be found in the gastric mucous layer or joined but not united to the epithelial lining of the stomach, and it has the appearance of a spiral-shaped bacterium. It also has a certain way of adapting in the harsh environment of the stomach. The inside of the stomach goes through about half a gallon of gastric juice every day. Gastric juice is composed of digestive enzymes and concentrated hydrochloric acid, which can easily tear apart any substance they come into contact with. Bacteria, viruses, and food are all consumed in the mix of chemicals within the stomach. Therefore it used to be thought that the stomach contained no bacteria and was actually sterile, but that was changed with the discovery of Helicobacter pylori. The stomach is safe from its own gastric juice due to a thick layer of mucus that covers the stomach lining. However, the H. Pylori takes advantage of this protection by living in the mucus lining. Then, after the H. pylori has safely buried itself in the mucus, it is able to fight the stomach acid that does reach it with an enzyme it has called urease. Urease converts urea, of which is easily available in the stomach (from saliva and gastric juices), into bicarbonate and ammonia. This protects the H. Pylori from the stomach acid with a surrounding bubble of acid neutralizing chemicals. The reaction of urea hydrolysis is important for the diagnosis of H. Pylori by the breath test. Right now researchers are not certain how people contract H. pylori, but they think it may be through food or water. They have found H. pylori in the saliva of some infected people, so they believe that the bacteria may also spread through mouth-to-mouth contact like kissing. They are now also trying to develop a vaccine to prevent infection.Urea hydrolysis: urea is broken down to ammonia and carbon dioxideApproximately two-thirds of all people are infected with H. Pylori. However, it is found more often in Natives, African Americans, Hispanics, and lower socioeconomic groups. It is rarely found in children and in the United States approximately twenty percent of people under 40 years old, and half of those over 60 years old have it. However most infected people do not develop ulcers. Most people...

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