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Reduce the risk of recurrence

MagazineSeptember 1998 (Vol. 9 Issue 6)Reduce the risk of recurrence

You can reduce the risk of Helicobacter pylori returning by following these simple steps:

You can reduce the risk of Helicobacter pylori returning by following these simple steps:

Be scrupulous about hygiene. Inadequate hand washing, careless food storage and preparation, and faecal contamination are believed to be the three main routes which allow H pylori to enter the body.

Be extra vigilant in your hygiene when travelling away from home.

Don't allow animals to lick your face.

Supplements used in the treatments of parasites garlic, grapefruit seed extract and Artemesia annua (used only with practitioner supervision) may be invaluable in keeping H pylori at bay.

Clean your teeth at least twice daily, disinfect your toothbrush at least once a week and see your dentist twice a year. Dental plaque can "store"this bacteria.

Filter your water and change your filter cartridge regularly.

Don't use anyone else's unwashed glass, cup or eating utensils.

Wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly before use.

Increase the quality of alkaline forming vegetable foods, which helps to reduce gastric acidity.

Increase the amount of fibre in your diet. Apart from vegetables, fruits, pulses and grains, include a tablespoon of crushed linseeds or psyllium powder daily.

20ml (4 teaspoons) of aloe vera juice taken 20 minutes before meals can ease ulcer symptoms. However, take care to choose only the organic, cold pressure pressed juice. Your local health food shop should have supplies.

Follow a course of probiotics at least once a year and always after antibiotics.

Get tested for H pylori if you have a family history of ulcers.

If you have already received antibiotic treatment for H pylori but your ulcer or gastritis have come back again, ask for repeat tests to be carried out. Relapse rates may be higher if the wrong (or the wrong combination of) antibiotics were used and did not completely eradicate the bacteria. Dr Marshall found that one kind of antibiotic in isolation was not sufficient to deal with the infection.

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