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Can H.P contaminate food by saliva and then survive in a refrigerator?

Posted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 10:38 am
by Icecreamed
Hello. I ask here because I don't know who to go for this. I won't see my doctor until a few weeks have passed and this is killing me (figuratively speaking, but it's past 4 AM and I genuinely haven't been able to sleep thinking about it). Here's the long story, though it can be skipped up to the tl;Dr:

I was diagnosed with H.P the 9th of September with a stool test. Got a endoscopy ten days later, the 19th of September, to see the extent of the possible damage and get biopsies. This was because several of my relatives, both in my mother and in my father's families, have been affected by digestive/breast cancer. This includes my father, who is nowadays fighting gastric cancer. The doctor considered needed that I got an endoscopy once the stool test came back positive for H.P and I complained of great pain, acid, and bad digestion in general. After the endoscopy, my parents I went with were informed while I was still sedated of the meds I had to take for the next two weeks, told to make an appointment in two months, and that was it. Not much else, really. I would have asked myself a few things, but alas... I was asleep. I didn't know something like that would happen. But what's done it's done, I guess.

And so, I've followed the treatment up until the 1th of October, that consisted of amoxicillin, clarithromycin, and metronidazole, plus a PPI (omeprazole) and probiotics for two weeks (these latter ones that I'm still taking). I'm now waiting for the two weeks window so I can get tested again, and learn if I got rid of the bacteria or not.

Honestly, these weeks have been the absolute worst I've ever been physically speaking, specially during treatment (it was lighter both before and after). Diarrhea, headache, stomachache, chest pain, back pain, throat pain, bone pain, heartburns/reflux (just like, a ton of acid-related stuff), metallic taste, lack of apetite, being unable to hold something inside my body that weren't tiny bits of things like potatoes/rice, insomnia (and really messed up nightmares if I managed to sleep), palpitations, nausea, vomiting, cold sweat, fever, bloating, candidiasis, dizziness, absolute exhaustion up to the point of being barely able to move from the bed... A lot of things, really. I've even had hallucinations, I kept hearing and seeing things that weren't there while in bed, which made me fear I was going insane. So I'm really crossing fingers waiting for it to end here.

And the thing is, I still am not sure how this kind of thing gets transmited. I keep reading and I keep finding contradicting information. In the first place, I am someone who has almost never ate out in his life, and no one else in the household was infected (we all took the tools test just in case). It's very odd because we all eat basically the same things, too. I have no idea from where I got this hellish bacteria. Which leads me to the next question, and what is making me write this at 4 AM.

There was (is) this ice cream in a cup I began eating shortly before taking the treatment (so when I was already infected) that I left in the refrigerator at -18ºC (like 0ºF? I don't understand Farenheit, I'm not american, English isn't even my native language) and I tried eating earlier in the afternoon. I've been feeling a bit better some days after treatment, even able to have more nutritional meals (albeit still light and portioned) so I took a spoon just like I've been doing with other foods I was unable to put in my stomach during the treatment and for some time before it, to evaluate the reaction. Sometimes I'm lucky, others not really. It was only when I had already gulped down that sugar-sized spoon of icecream when I remembered. I had looked it up before in the printed etiquette to know if it was still edible, but I just didn't notice that one detail.

Did I mess up this whole thing? Have I re-infected myself now? Will I have to go under treatment again? Should I throw into the trash this icecream and anything I might have been eating/touching before treatment?

Thank you for reading and (I hope) answering.

tl;Dr I'm not sure how do you get H.P and no one gave me any instructions either. Was eating some icecream before beginning the treatment (lasting two weeks) when I was already infected. Left it in the refrigerator at -18ºC/0ºF for more than two weeks due to worsening synthomps and later the treatment making my entire digestive system a mess. Took a spoon of said icecream today in the afternoon, few days after ending the treatment, when I'm not with antibiotics anymore. Did I mess up and re-infected myself?

Re: Can H.P contaminate food by saliva and then survive in a refrigerator?

Posted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 9:55 pm
by Helico_expert

Thanks for sharing your story. I'll keep the answer short.

Normally, we catch H. pylori from our mother when we are very young. Your mother most probably tasted the food to check the temperature, or removing the bones, or crushing the food into smaller pieces, before feeding you. That's how people normally catch it.

Of course, when you grow up, it is possible to catch from your partner via kissing. But this is very rare. Unless your partner doesnt have a good oral hygiene.

H. pylori cannot survive outside human body. If you live in a modern city where most people brushes their teeth, then your chance of catching H. pylori from people around you would be very little.

In terms of your symptoms. The more you think about it, the more likely you'll feel it. So, try to stay positive and dont think about it. It's a very chronic infection. It will take decades for something bad to happen.

Wait for the time to come and get your breath/stool test done. If you are still positive, dont worry. There are other treatments available.

Re: Can H.P contaminate food by saliva and then survive in a refrigerator?

Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:08 am
by Icecreamed
My mother said she used to do that, so I guess it'd make sense. I do still find weird that I was the only one infected, though. Neither siblings, nor parents. And it makes me a bit scared thinking about the possible damage done after so many years untreated if it's the case. But I guess there's no point in worrying until I get the biopsies results, and no choice but bear with the pain until I get tested again... I guess I'll have to wait then crossing my fingers for a few more days, to see how this evolves.

It's good to guess that if the bacteria can't survive outside of the human body for too long, then the icecream didn't affect me? I'll still trash it, though.

Thank you again for replying.

Re: Can H.P contaminate food by saliva and then survive in a refrigerator?

Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:03 am
by Helico_expert
yea, it is a bit unlucky that you are the only sibling that caught H. pylori.

It can also be nannies or grandparent or baby sitters or day care. whoever that spend a lot of time feeding you.

anyway, if you are young, your chance of getting severe gastric disease is low. just make sure it's out of your system and you can focus on the healing.

I dont think you catch it from ice cream.

Re: Can H.P contaminate food by saliva and then survive in a refrigerator?

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 1:27 am
by Icecreamed
Hello again. I came back after the results. Had a recent second stool test for H.P and it came back negative. I was told, however, to repeat it again in two months just in case. What puzzles me is that recently I also got the biopsies results and they came back negative... Do you know how this can be possible? Why did I get positive in the first stool test but negative in the biopsies, considering both were done around the same days, all before the treatment with antibiotics?

I also got diagnosed with chronic gastritis. Is it curable? It certainly is hard to eat now even after so many weeks. Way too many things that seem will be alright still make my stomach hurt, not as much as during treatment, but it's still painful. I also keep losing weight as crazy. I'm at loss about this but my doctor is on holidays and I can't see him until the 6th of November.

Thank you.

Re: Can H.P contaminate food by saliva and then survive in a refrigerator?

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 9:08 am
by Helico_expert
You probably need to find out how does the biopsy was tested positive. is it by histology or rapid urease test?

if it's histology, is it by immuno stain? silver stain? or hint from active immune cells?

if it's rapid urease test, how red is color change? over how long? within 10 min?

the stool test that gave you a negative result. how negative is the negative? close to the cut off value?

have you tried taking any PPI like nexium to ease your stomach symptoms?

Re: Can H.P contaminate food by saliva and then survive in a refrigerator?

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 10:38 am
by Icecreamed
It went like this:
-First stool test: positive for H.P
-Gastroscopy to check and get three biopsies, a few days later (I'm guessing histology, as they made pictures of the whole process and I had three tiny "wounds" after taking them)
-Beginning of treatment with antibiotics
And then:
-Ending of said treatment
-Second stool test around three weeks after it's over: negative
-The results of said biopsies (more than a month was needed for them to be revealed, so they came once I had already taken the antibiotics and all): negative

There are no values of numbers in the stool tests. I'd post a picture, but it's not in English, and it really just says the laboratory, the person who worked in it signing it, the test type, what is it testing... and "negative". It looks for antigens of H.P, apparently.

No, I haven't took any PPI recently. I was taking omeprazole during treatment as my doctor told me to, but if I have to be honest I don't think it eased much of the symtomps. And once I stopped taking it, I counted the weeks so I could get retested, and so now I'm not taking anything.

Thank you once again.