H Pylori is no Fun – H Pylori Treatment, and H Pylori Success Story
A few weeks ago I was diagnosed with H Pylori bacteria in my stomach after I went to my doctor complaining of acid reflux. They did a blood test to confirm. I had noticed burning for several weeks before, but finally I had a night of chest pain and went to the E.R. for that because it was so bad. But it was acid reflux, not heart related.
My medicine was two antibiotics taken over 14 days, as well as a PPI (proton pump inhibitor), which decreases stomach acid.
The first week was not too bad. I had trouble sleeping and Lunesta helped with that. But as I got to day 6, things went really bad. I felt very nauseous, weak, anxiety and had blurred vision. This became so bad that I ended up in the E.R. because I could hardly stand without blacking out. In the E.R. I was given reglan to help clear out my stomach, as well as pepcid through an I.V. I felt a lot better after that. They also prescribed the reglan and another antacid coating substance to help my stomach / ulcers heal.
H Pylori often cause gastritis and ulcers, and that’s what happened to me. The burning in my stomach has been mild to extreme, like my whole gut is being dipped in acid.
Now that my treatment is almost up, I thought I would share some learnings and tips for anyone else who is going though this treatment.
– Drink lots of water every day, even if you don’t feel like it. I got dehydrated really bad and it caused extreme weakness (as I am sure the meds did as well). Get a half gallon jug with a spray top and drink it religiously slowly throughout the day.
– Take all the meds on a schedule and do not miss doses. I missed one day of my PPI and I paid dearly for it with horrible amounts of stomach acid ravaging my ulcers.
– Take the PPI on an empty stomach 15-30 minutes before a meal. This pill is meant to go into your stomach before food, and activates when digestion moves into the small intestine. Make sure to get the number of times per 24 hours right, as different antibiotic treatments specify to take it 1, 2 or 3 times in a day.
– Speaking of PPI, if you find your acid is worse at night, take the PPI an hour before bed and then eat a snack 15-30 minutes before bed, like a banana, apple or piece of bread. That will really help things calm down at night as you are laying flat. Acid reflux is worse when you are laying down.
– Don’t take any antacids (tums or liquid) within an hour of taking any medication – no exceptions! Antacids seemed to dilute and reduce the effect of my medication. If I took Lunesta (a sleeping pill) with antacid at night, I only got two hours of sleep. Taking it on a more empty stomach without antacid gives me 4-6 hours which given how I feel is superb. Taking antacids with my PPI limited it as well, and I’ll assume antacids would limit the antibiotics as well.
– You may lose your entire appetite, especially in the second week. Don’t force yourself to eat food or big meals. An apple here or a banana there with some whole grain bread will keep you alive enough until your appetite comes back.
– Be prepared to lose weight. So far I’ve lost 8 pounds (215 to 207) since treatment started 11 days ago. Understand that a lot of that is water and stool loss and try not to get worked up about it. I’ve had to work hard at not weighing myself all the time and getting anxiety from the weight loss.
– For me the antibiotics made me nauseous and ill feeling in general. I finally realized this and started taking them after meals and not before meals and that helped me eat a little more food.
– Gaviscon helped when my acid and burning was at extreme levels, but I learned to minimize use in order to maximize medication effectiveness.
– I started taking tums throughout the day even if I felt OK, because you never know when the acid will strike.
– You may have some nights with little to no sleep, especially in week 2 of treatment. When you’re already feeling ill this can be very taxing on the body and mind. If you are open to taking something like Lunesta, it can really help. Even when going to bed with anxiety and rapid heartbeat I could always eventually fall asleep if I took Lunesta. As you lose more and more sleep it adds up and compounds everything else you are dealing with. Try and take the Lunesta as the last thing in your day, 30-60 minutes after any other medicine or antacid.
– Stick to the BRAT diet (Bananas, rice, apples and toast/bread). In week 2 this seems even more important as your stomach gets pounded by the antibiotics.
– Take a probiotic 5 or 6 hours after each course of antibiotic. This will help reduce the damage done to your digestive system and give you a chance to not feel miserable. I only started taking these on day 9 which was a mistake. Should have done it far sooner, even before treatment started.
– My best schedule for the antibiotics was 5am and 5pm. Find times that work for you and stick with them every day so you get used to the schedule. I realized taking the first dose early helped me get passed the few hours of nausea and side effects earlier in the day, giving me a chance to have a better morning and afternoon.
– Evenings can become your worst time, especially in the second week. Keep drinking water and eating the BRAT diet and take it easy. Hopefully you have a support system around you, that helps a lot.
– You may have odd spasms, sensations, blurred vision and a whole host of weird feelings in general. I also had some mild hallucinations as well. Drinking water and staying hydrated seems to help lessen these oddities.
– Oh yes, speaking of weird, your stool is going to be different for a while. It will look like worms, parasites, white, yellow, green and everything in between. I even had some in the shape of my initials which was gnarly. The mucus and strange poo did not concern my doctor, so I learned to deal with it. The really funny looking poo happened between days 6 and 9 and eventually went away. There was one time I had diarrhea as well on day 7 or 8 I believe.
– Try and keep your brain occupied during the day. Watch T.V., walk around or talk to someone. It really helps. Take naps if you can. I never was able to because of Insomnia.
– If you ever feel like death as I did when I went to the E.R., don’t be afraid to go to the E.R. If you are having stabbing abdominal pains, a fever or vomiting I wouldn’t wait to see your doctor. Just go to the E.R. When I went to the E.R., they checked for a perforated ulcer (hole in stomach) which thankfully I didn’t have, but if I had had one and hadn’t gone to the E.R., that would have been life threatening.
– Hopefully you have decent health insurance. As an indie software developer, I pay about 900 USD a month just for the premium, but it’s turning out to be good that I had it with my E.R. visits, spinal surgery and birth of a daughter all this year.
– I am OCD about researching things online. From parasites to stomach cancer, I thought I had it all. Statistically, especially in developed countries, these ailments are rare. Having said that, if you have black or tarry / bloody stool or horrific diarrhea, go get to the E.R.
– There may be times during your treatment when every minute seems like an eternity and you just want to go crazy. Hang in there and work on your mental focus and determination and you’ll hopefully come out of the experience a stronger and more stable person. Getting over this is a marathon, not a sprint.
– Take this time of suffering to re-examine your life and priorities and make yourself and your life all the better.
My treatment is almost up, and I plan on amending this article with my results. I’m also having spinal fusion surgery in a week and will likely write about that as well.
Good luck with your H Pylori treatment!
I had my spinal fusion surgery. I’ve had numerous tests, including stool sample and the bacteria have been exterminated. Recovering from my spine surgery and this bacteria has been a challenge as I am also battling extreme insomnia. Hopefully once my body starts healing up the insomnia will start going away.
I have recently tested positive for hpylori with ulcers in stomach however I have completed the thriple therapy for 15 days, still i have burping feeling all the tym and sometime short of breath.
Hi, how you feeling now? have you tried any post antibiotic therapy to calm your stomach and help it rebuild
No i have not, what kind of stuff is that?
I have only been taking L glutamine, and PPI in the morning
is Mastic Gum good? i want to take that too
I have been dealing with digestive problems since June after I contracted covid in May. I couldn’t figure out what was happening at first since my doctors said I was having long covid when I complained of persistent chest pain for months.But when I realized this didn’t have anything to do with covid I had 20mg of pantoprazol for 1 month in September which only helped to improve my symptoms until I finish the course. When symptoms returned 2 weeks later I was given pantoprazol 40mg for 2 months. But I insisted of being tested for h pylori which came… Read more »
Hello friends,. Such a nice discussion. I just started my treatment day 3 of antibiotics I did some research 90% of the cases the person gets cured and I thak you God I will be one of them. Some advice you will need a lot family support. Make case is not that really bad I think I didn’t had to go emergency and I am not vomiting of couser this bacteria lives in our stomach for years and I am sure I developed small ulrces and my doctor said you only need go emergency if you are vomiting and have… Read more »
Hi all, I was tested positive on 5th oct with hpylori. Finished triple therapy on 19th Oct. After that two weeks were awsome but again started feeling same symptoms. My breath test is on 5th Jan. I am again facing same anxiety and fluttering feeling in the upper stomach. Pls guys help me…no w I am scared it’s eradicated or not yet. Appreciate your help.
Thanks in advance
What were the test results?
Hi everyone! It seems we’re peers here and i would like to add that during healing your gut needs repairs. You may have low stomach acid and not be able to break down food then it would show up during number two looking a bit too familiar lol. Dr jockers dot com has combinations of products designed to help you to create enough hydrochloric acid to properly breakdown your food so you can get all the nutrition available and began to heal your gut. There may be other websites that provide these but this is the one i found and… Read more »
Hello everyone I’ve suffered with hpylori for sadly two years now it’s really taken a toll on my mental health and everyday life style I have tried the triple therapy with amoxicillin clarithromycin and nexium it sadly didn’t work I then tried the bismuth quadruple therapy and that didn’t work either to eradicate the bacteria does anyone know what other treatment I could potential try i also find it very very very difficult to swallow tablets due to a phobia I have from it is there a potential liquid medication that’s available as this maybe the reason tablets aren’t working… Read more »
I was diagnosed with h pylori after a month of feeling ill burning sensation in my stomach and weight loss and insomnia and loss of appetite..I took a stool test and it was positive and was put on a 10 day treatment cycle..I am now done with the treatment and I don’t feel any better at all..i still have no appetite and I have to take sleeping aids to get thru the night..I have a breath test follow up in a month with my doctor.i hope it comes out negative and right now I hope this is all my body… Read more »
Hang in there. It takes months to get better from this.
Hello, thanks for sharing your experience. Did you have lightheaded spells after the eradication. I completed treatment two months ago but still have pain but I also get lightheaded feeling which last hours sometimes
Yes, I had a lot of anxiety and brain issues for several months after. Seeing a therapist helped me more than any of the meds or sleeping pills did.
Thanks for sharing your story. I took the antibiotics then tested negative for h pylori, then completed 8 weeks of PPI therapy for “healing” according to my doctor. Its now been 3 weeks since the 8 week mark, i have cut my PPI dose in half but i’m still getting the stomach burning and gnawing. Did you experience this?
Yea, my gut was really messed up for months. Still flares up from time to time if I don’t eat right.
Ok how long has it been since eradication for you?
when did you stop feeling nauseous currently on day 2 and feel unbelievably ill this sucks! Also did you ever throw up on your own or did you make yourself throw up
Never threw up, but I have a strong stomach. Zofran was a short term medication to help with that too. Hang in there, it gets better!
I really hope it does I hate feeling naseous all day everyday 🙁
Thank you so much for sharing your story. It all sounds so familiar. I’m going on my 3rd day in first week and it’s been horrible. Two trips to the ER already. Was given some Zofran and Ativan. Helped relax me. The pain is unbearable in my stomach. Did you ever feel like your food wasn’t digesting and just sitting in your chest?
I am also experiencing gurgling and bubbling in my stomach?
Antacids helped my stomach, I was on 2-3 at my peak for a few weeks. Ativan is good for anxiety, but finding a good cognitive therapist was better long term. Wishing you a good recovery 🙂
Thank you for the reply. Just one last question. Are the probiotic drinks ok to drink? It does indicate that fizzy drinks are not good for h pylori. Just curious if you drank those?
I tried to keep a pretty bland diet, I don’t drink pop or fizzy drinks so not sure how they will react in your gut.
I just finished my 14 days of meds. It’s been 2 days off the medicine. Is it normal to still feel nauseous and a headache?
Yes my drs didn’t say this but it can be a slow recovery. Unfortunately my drs only know about the main symptoms and have never heard of all the other lesser known symptoms like weird sensations in your head neck area and pulsating in the abdomen and vision changes to name a few. I had to actually request a stool test it wasn’t offered, and that’s how we figured out i had h pylori. What is also difficult is all the symptoms from hp that are shared with other sometimes more serious medical issues so trying to self diagnose is… Read more »
Did u ever get short of breath trying take deep breath from h pylori
Yes, mainly from anxiety
This happen in da shower, eating, walking, ur going for a ride I’m so confused h pylori or my anxiety i had my heart check out I’m good dr said it from h pylori. It like I try take deep breaths but feel like I can’t. This every happen to u
Sorry you are having anxiety. Best advice I can give is see a cognitive therapist and get emergency benzo to use sparingly when things get really bad.
I would suggest you ask your doctor for some anxiety meds. Just for short term while your still within the 2 week treatment. It literally relaxed me when I had those symptoms.
Recently diagnosed on day six of treatment started having some pain in my bad did you experience this the burping and burning in my chest seem to have calmed down just some stomach pains
Yes, a lot of acid and unpleasant burps. Cleaning up my diet helped a lot.
Did your stomach pain and HP symptoms stay gone?
For the most part yes. If I eat poorly and don’t take care of myself, I have all kinds of issues including digestive issues. I had my appendix out recently with emergency surgery and after getting over the initial recovery my digestion is much better.
Just completed my triple therapy treatment and it was hell. Between that and my lupus meds my body and mind was all over the place. Fatigue, body ache, insomnia, diarrhea. Omg I didn’t think I could finish but I did. I hope I start to feel better soon. The burning pain on my right side is still there and no appetite. I just pray the h pylori is eradicated bc I can’t see myself taking these meds again smh. But thank you for this info, helps to know I’m not alone. Green Tea and light meals does help.
This blog is such a blessing. I struggled for months with h pylori before getting treatment.
The treatment itself proved taxing to the body. Extreme fatigue and depression were the main thing for me. I THOUGHT I WAS ALONE! I am now one day out of the 4 abx treatment and am feeling the after affects today. Not pleasant and very hard mentally! Getting over this mental healing will take some time i know and seems easier said than done! Again… I THOUGHT I WAS ALONE! Thank you!
I’m about to start on probiotics today and hope for recovery.
You’re welcome, hang in there! Take a day at a time.
I get the 14 days treatment from in October and finished taking it from INTO OCTOBER and until now I’m still feeling pain into my stomach and my back I tried do menny things and I’m still in pain I would have really appreciated it I could get some assistant please
Time and meds is what it took for me. It is a long road, I am so sorry you are going through it, you will come out stronger on the other side.
I read your blog. I am just like you were. Recovering from spinal surgery and now H Pylori. Your tips are great…
I am about to start. Thank you for writing about your experience. It helps me to know what to expect and makes me hopeful of getting rid of the bacteria