So, I've been on this journey since 2011 in a way... after 6 months of marriage to someone in the Pacific Islands, he was diagnosed with cancer (specifically adenocarcinoma... they never found the original source, as technology is not so great in 3rd world countries, but suspected either duodenum, pancreatic or transverse colon). After being diagnosed in June, health declined and he passed away in November (one month before our anniversary and with me 3+ months pregnant)...
For three + years I wondered as I raised our daughter... what had happened???
...then in early August of 2015, I began to have similar GI symptoms to those described on this site...
What started out as extreme stress leading to some upset tummy issues turned into 6 weeks of going to the bathroom 4-10 x's a day, major nausea, extreme stomach discomfort, loss of appetite, gas, pain, and gastritis/bloating so bad my stomach was pushing on my ribcage causing extreme pain, dehydration so bad they still couldn't draw blood after 2 rounds of IV fluids, and doctors who just suggested cordially "maybe you just pulled a stomach muscle"..... well, 3 trips to the ER, lots of tests and more doctor visits later, in the end of Sept I was finally diagnosed with H PYLORI.
Did one round of the triple treatment (which I would likely choose not to do again), and for one month have been trying to get my gut back to normal... some of the symptoms such as gastritis and some nausea have gone... but most of all I am continuing to struggle daily with back pain and extreme fatigue.
BUT my silver lining in a way...... in my research, I have found that there is strong research evidence to suggest that a likely cause for my husband's cancer was untreated h pylori... if left untreated, it can lead to duodenal ulcers, and if those are left untreated can lead to duodenal adenocarcinoma specifically. I know there are other factors involved like diet, genetics, stress, etc... but for me this was a powerful connection. I feel that I finally have some answers I can give my daughter one day when she asks what happened...
As anyone who is reading this can imagine, such a personal experience and struggle with H pylori has caused me to become Very VERY VERY passionate about helping others who have to deal with it... it is NOT a fun experience by any means. And if, in some way, I can help educate and encourage others in the process... well, that makes my husband's death a little less painful (and my own health battles a little more bearable) at the end of the day.
I'm not an expert by any means... just thought I'd share some things that have helped me - not sure if they are readily available in your area, but if you've struggled with the symptoms I have for such a long time, I can imagine you'd want to try just about anything that relieved them. All are natural options...
HEAT - heat from a heat pack or even drinking hot tea has helped... heat has made the pain bearable when other things wouldn't.
Most beneficial food I've found - Kefir
- you can make your own or buy it in some grocery stores... either water or milk based. google it - lots of good info... for me it has helped restore the good bacteria all the antibiotics destroyed, taking away some stomach discomfort and reflux.
Probiotics of any kind in any form - yogurt, pills... to help restore gut issues...
DGL (digestive enzyme) also helps with reflux and stomach discomfort - you can find them in the health section of some grocery stores or in health stores - chewable or pill form and take regularly.
Goats milk - not sure how much this is helping right now, but studies suggest it aids in curing some ulcers.
These days there are several "oil" companies - my sister does Doterra oils - they have one called Digestzen that seems to be helping - even just rubbing it on the belly helps.
For anyone who is still trying to eradicate this disease (especially those who are struggling with antibiotic treatments), I would recommend OIL OF OREGANO... there are studies showing its effectiveness with H pylori... you can get either the oil or powder form... if you choose oil, it can increase reflux, but does the trick faster on killing the bacteria... if you go with the powder - make sure its good quality/high dose - something like Oregamax or Oreganol.
H pylori has been linked to B12 deficiency, so sublingual supplements may help with energy.
Also, cutting sugar, diet soda,alcohol, greasy foods, and even at times gluten can make a big difference(I know I know... all the fun stuff)... I'm not a health nazi, but I have made sure these last few months to try and find foods that make my tummy happy... protein, fruit and veg, some dairy have been my best results so far.
Finally - prayer and sharing my struggles with friends - educating others and encouraging anyone who is struggling with ANY type of health issues that cause long-term distress... these things have given me a perspective I've needed to not feel sorry for myself and remember I'm not the only one struggling - both of which have helped me keep going this last 4 years!
Learning as I go... I'm sure others are far greater "experts" out there ... don't lose hope in your FIGHT... hang in there.
**SIDE NOTE - my story is not meant to frighten anyone... very very rare case in my situation with my husband, with many factors...and symptoms left untreated for a great deal of time... I only share it to tell you MY story and why I care about H pylori
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