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A bacteria known as helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) can infect your stomach. H. pylori are adapted to live in the harsh, acidic environment of the stomach. The bacteria causes stomach problems when they penetrate the stomach’s mucous lining and generate substances that neutralize stomach acids, which makes the stomach cells more vulnerable to the harsh acids. H. pylori infections are responsible for the majority of ulcers in the stomach and small intestine. H. pylori infection can be diagnosed by a number of tests including blood tests, breath tests (where one blows into a tube) and with an upper endoscopy (EGD) with biopsy.
An H. pylori infection that isn’t causing you problems may not benefit from any treatments. However, as stomach cancer and ulcers are associated with H. pylori infections, treatment can cure ulcers and reduce your risk of developing stomach cancer. These treatments normally include medication, such as antibiotics, antacids, or PPIs (proton pump inhibitors).