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Symptoms After Treatment

Posted: Wed Jul 08, 2020 12:35 am
by Gingerneer321
Here is a little background on my case: I have just finished my first triple therapy for treating h. pylori (14 days of amox, clarith, omep.) after having a positive blood test. I believe I have had this bug for a long time, and this past winter my symptoms were much worse which included heavy fatigue, dizzy or foggy head, difficulty concentrating and mood swings. Blood tests found low b12 and d vitamin levels. I have also noticed a strange feeling in my throat about a year ago that has not gone away, feels like an irritation when I swallow. My stomach has caused me discomfort for years (maybe 6-8 years), usually a feeling of bloating that stays for a while after eating, but have never really had sharp stomach pain indicative of an ulcer.

My triple therapy treatment really seemed to work, after the first 24 hours I was feeling a lot better, much more energy, and day 3-6 I felt like I did 10 years ago, seemed to have unlimited energy and a very stable mood, and an overall sense of elation for solving this problem. My stomach seemed much better, could eat anything and any amount. I have been taking a good amount of probiotics during this treatment as well in the form of capsules and fermented vegetables that I make and my BMs have been consistent and comfortable.

On day 7 of regimen, my symptoms started to slowly return and most of the 2nd week I slowly went back to feeling poorly again. My doctor said that the symptoms can return as the bacteria are dying off and releasing toxins into my body so I hope this was the case. The last couple days of the antibiotic treatment seemed to improve a little, and the couple days after it was done I felt pretty good again. However on the third day after finishing the regimen my symptoms seemed to return and yesterday I felt pretty terrible again (foggy head and hard to concentrate as well as generally weak and low energy), so I am a little worried this treatment has failed.

Here are a couple questions I have:

Is it normal to experience waves of symptoms returning during the treatment and just after?

Could the discomfort when I swallow be linked with h. pylori infection?
Can h. pylori hide out in the esophagus? If so how does one treat this specific problem?

For my follow up test, is the blood test a good option since that is what I had initially?
How long should I wait after the antibiotics and ppi regimen is over before the test?

Thanks for your time,

Re: Symptoms After Treatment

Posted: Wed Jul 08, 2020 3:33 pm
by Helico_expert
it is normal to experience episodes of symptoms after successful eradication of H. pylori. The reason is unknown, but we believe that it is because the stomach is trying to adjust to a new environment where there is no H. pylori.

The frequency of the episodes should gradually reduce. for example, from 2 times a week to 1 times a week to once per two weeks.

Sometimes, H. pylori can cause reflux and the acid can damage the throat behind the tongue. That may be the reason for the discomfort. Hopefully it'll gradually heal and go away.

H. pylori only colonize the stomach. It doesnt colonize anywhere else. So you wont find it in the throat (or esophagus).

For follow up test, you cannot use blood test anymore. Blood test only tells you if you had H. pylori before. Blood test cannot tell if you had H. pylori now. So you will need to do either breath or stool test to confirm the eradication.

You will need to wait for at least 2 weeks without antibiotics or PPI before breath/stool test.

Re: Symptoms After Treatment

Posted: Thu Jul 09, 2020 12:27 am
by Gingerneer321
Thanks for the quick reply,

What you said about episodes does make sense, yesterday after posting this I actually started to feel better throughout the day and today I feel pretty good. My prescription was to stay on Omeperazole for 4 weeks (2 weeks after antibiotics), but I asked my doctor and he said I could taper off of it, which I would like to do so I can get my stomach acid coming back. Is there any other reason to keep taking Omeparazole other than for discomfort?

Also, I am taking some natural supplements to back up the antibiotics (garlic, triphala, mastic, green tea), do you think it would be wise to discontinue these before I have my eradication test, maybe a week before?

Re: Symptoms After Treatment

Posted: Thu Jul 09, 2020 9:47 am
by Helico_expert
Usually if someone has a stomach ulcer, the doctor would ask the patient to take omeprazole for 4 weeks. That will buy time for the ulcer to heal.

since omeprazole is quite harmless, some doctors would just assume that all patients have ulcers and prescribe 4 weeks omeprazole to all. For just in case situation, It's better to be false positive than false negative.

you can gradually reduce your omeprazole load if you feel better. reduce to one tablet a day or one tablet every two days.

natural supplement is fine. but you will need to stop all these "potential killer of H. pylori" for at least 2 weeks before the follow up test to get an accurate result.

Re: Symptoms After Treatment

Posted: Thu Jul 16, 2020 6:17 am
by ecpunk
Gingerneer321, first, clever name. Second, please post back in a few days and a couple of weeks with a follow up.

I've been treated for h pylori once in 2017, which was unsuccessful. The second treatment made me very sick, and it was when I was traveling for work, so I discontinued. Fast forward a couple of years and I'm having memory/brain fog issues, occasional daytime fatigue, and a number of other symptoms from the list of things h pylori can mess up in your body. I am going to the gastro doc again in a week to get a new round of antibiotics, and I am very hopeful that this solves some of my memory problems at least. I have yet to find a doctor who has proposed that my memory issues could be related to h pylori. Everyone tries to blame stress, diet, or some weird diagnosis from a specific doctor's specialty. Anyway, not trying to hijack, I'm just interested, and hopeful, that you are on the mend. It gives me some hope that maybe I'll be right behind you.

Re: Symptoms After Treatment

Posted: Tue Jul 21, 2020 12:19 am
by Gingerneer321

After feeling like I was cured and on the mend last weekend (super energetic and very stable good mood), Tuesday I started going downhill and my symptoms have come back. Unless this is a really long wave of post eradication symptoms, I am afraid that the h. pylori has recolonized, my stomach is feeling irritated again and maybe even worse than before especially noticeable overnight while I am trying to sleep. I don't seem to be producing any stomach acid, (I have been using the baking soda test method regularly and last Monday I had positive results, but the next day failed when my symptoms came back). My energy levels are quite low and my mood has been low and specifically irritable. My head still seems pretty clear which I believe is because I am taking B12 supplements. It would be nice to know which nutrients I am lacking because of this problem or what is causing my feeling of heaviness and lethargy. I really sympathize with people that are dealing with this because it is very frustrating and demoralizing. Despite all of this, I do think that I might be slightly better than I was pre-treatment; maybe a little bit more energy, but the mood swing was so significant and noticeable and my stomach seems to be more irritated than before after being totally normal for a week post treatment. One interesting note is that I quit taking my natural supplements last Friday (garlic, triphala and mastic gum), and my sympotms returned about 3 days later, which leads me to believe that these were doing something.

I recently talked to a friend that has been dealing with hypochlorydria (low stomach acid) that might be attributed to h. pylori, and she is working with a natural healer. He has prescribed a natural herbal tonic that seems to be helping with that. In our discussion which was kind of a debate between western and eastern medicine philosophies, she told me the antibiotic approach is "putting a bandaid on the problem" and not finding out the source of how the h. pylori was able to get in and colonize the stomach in the first place. Why did the stomach not have a strong defense against the bacteria? Was there a lack of acid or mucosal lining to begin with? According to eastern medicine there is an underlying problem behind this infection that needs to be addressed. According to that viewpoint, antibiotics are only a temporary fix, but the underlying problem is still there and the infection can and likely will return. According to the healer she is working with, h. pylori is common in the environment and if the body doesn't have a good defense, reinfection will likely happen.

I know that this forum is a more western perspective, but at this point I am having a very intense internal debate of how many regimes of antibiotics I am willing to try before taking a completely different approach. I am quite torn in this debate because the antibiotic treatment made me feel superb for a short time. At this point I think I am probably willing to give it one more try, but that is probably my threshold and will change my strategy if the second treatment fails. I will be talking to my doctor this week to see what he thinks, and plan to have my test this week to see if the infection is still there. I guess it is possible that it has been eradicated, but my "gut" feeling tells me it is still there. I will try to keep an open mind.

Lastly, I have been reading about hiatal hernia after finding out it runs in one side of my family. I am curious to know if this has any ties to h. pylori infection. I do believe I have some of the symptoms of hiatal hernia, including; breath hunger (short breathing), esophagus discomfort, bloating or feeling of fullness, and heart palpitations or fluttering (didn't know this was attributed).

So that is where I am at, hope this info helps and I will check back in soon.

Re: Symptoms After Treatment

Posted: Tue Jul 21, 2020 6:35 pm
by Helico_expert
Thanks for the update.

just want to clarify some information with you.

H. pylori doesnt exist in the environment. H. pylori can only survive in the human body. Normally people catch H. pylori from their mother when they are young via spoon feeding. Sometimes mothers would lick the spoon or grind food into small pieces by mouth before feeding the child.

Adults normally catch H. pylori from close partner. As long as everyone brushes teeth frequently, then there is little chance for H. pylori to spread.

We frequently receive natural remedy from public or commercial company to test on H. pylori. Almost everything kill H. pylori in the laboratory. However, they cant kill H. pylori in human body. This is because H. pylori hide deeply within the gastric tissue. Only antibiotics is able to kill H. pylori because antibiotics are absorbed into the blood stream and can attack H. pylori from the deep.

Re: Symptoms After Treatment

Posted: Tue Jul 21, 2020 10:49 pm
by Gingerneer321
Thanks for the reply Helico_expert, I actually started feeling better yesterday and today, and I have been giving myself the baking soda test most mornings to monitor my stomach acid. From my experience it does seem like when I am feeling more poorly, I do not produce a burp, and when I am feeling better I will produce a burp within about 5 minutes. This morning I produced a small burp about 1 minute after drinking the baking soda water. Do you think this is a valid test?

Also, do you think that a solid weeks worth of symptoms returning, after 1 week period post treatment indicates a failed antibiotic treatment? If so is it a good idea to start another treatment soon (maybe it is in a weakened state from the first treatment?)

It does seem like these symptoms have always cycled on and off, before I treated it and still now, does h. pylori have a natural cycle where it is active and passive? Somewhere I read something about how it is more active on full and new moons, and that a fecal test should be done during these phases.

Re: Symptoms After Treatment

Posted: Wed Jul 22, 2020 9:20 am
by Helico_expert
I think it's important to get a follow up breath test done before you try anything else.

you'll need to stop all antibiotics or PPI (or any acid reducing agent and the soda test) for at least 2 weeks before the breath test.

you will only get better when there is truly no H. pylori left.

if you are indeed free of H. pylori, then you can focus on the recovery. It is common to have "episodes" of symptoms after eradicating the H. pylori. Usually the "episodes" get milder and milder and the gaps get wider and wider through time.

Everyone has different experience as the damage done by H. pylori is different. Therefore, the recovery time is subjective too.

Re: Symptoms After Treatment

Posted: Thu Jul 23, 2020 12:17 am
by Gingerneer321
I did my follow up breath test yesterday, waiting over 2 weeks since the antibiotics and ppi were finished. I also stopped taking garlic, mastic and green tea for 1 week. My doctor told me the same thing, that a lot of people experience these symptoms episodes and it might actually be a good sign that it has been eradicated. He went on to explain that the body has to go through bio-chemical changes since the h. pylori is not there. He also went on to recommend a supplement enzyme called diamine oxidase to help alleviate them, and explained how mast cells releasing histamines can be behind all of this. I started reading about histamines and how they are connected to the immune system and production of gastric acid, food allergies and sensitivities, and it seems like a whole new realm that I had not read about anywhere when researching h. pylori. I wonder if this is very new information? I will be doing more research into this area, it is all very fascinating to me now.