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141: Dealing With H. pylori: Diet + Conventional vs. Alternative Options

Is there an H. pylori diet that can help?

Is H. pylori contagious?

What supplements are helpful to get rid of H. pylori?

These are just some of the questions I’ve received over the past two weeks after the release of the H. pylori and Skin Rashes episode on the Healthy Skin Show.

Because of the overwhelming response, I felt it was only right to do a Part 2 so that you could get answers to your questions!

It’s my hope that this will give you a better sense of what to consider IF you do have H. pylori as one of your hidden root causes.

And that’s an important point… often H. pylori doesn’t show up on its own!

So don’t make the mistake of putting on blinders and thinking that it’s all you have to deal with. Look at your own complete picture as unique and dig into what’s driving your issues so that you can rebuild healthier skin.

Or, listen on your favorite app: iTunes (Apple Podcasts) | Spotify | Stitcher | TuneIn | Subscribe on Android

In this episode:

  • Is the H. pylori diet effective?
  • What foods can help you with H. pylori?
  • Conventional approach to H. pylori
  • Alternative options for giving H. pylori the boot
  • Supplements to consider for H. pylori
  • Is H. pylori contagious? (short answer: YES)

Quotes:

Depending on the severity of your symptoms, H. pylori can do serious damage to your GI tract (like bleeding ulcers).

Despite what you have read online, no diet exists to help you get rid of H. pylori.⁠ It’s not a food-fixable problem.

Healthy vegetables in a basket

Dealing With H. pylori: Diet + Conventional vs. Alternative Options (FULL TRANSCRIPT)

Welcome back to episode #141 of the Healthy Skin Show!

In today’s episode, I want to further round out the conversation started in episode #135 on H. pylori and skin rashes.

The reason is that the initial episode was so popular and as a result, I got a ton of questions. I realized there is a need for more clear information on next steps to deal with H. pylori beyond what I discussed.

This episode (which is essentially a Part 2 to that initial discussion) is dedicated to answering all your questions!

One of the biggest takeaways that I hope to impart herein is that it’s not typically JUST an H. pylori issue that you’ve got to deal with.

H. pylori can be a root cause, but it often triggers a chain-reaction of problems that also need to be addressed and will not resolve simply because you got rid of H. pylori.

Keep that in mind as you go through this process!

So once you confirm that you do in fact have H. pylori, it’s natural to ask what you can do to give it the boot.

In today’s episode, I’m going to cover the strategies that have worked for clients in my virtual clinical practice and that have research to back them up.

That said, this episode is for informational purposes and you should either discuss these options with your practitioner first before taking action OR get help HERE.

Depending on the severity of your symptoms, H. pylori can do serious damage to your GI tract (like bleeding ulcers).

So getting guidance on your best steps is a good idea especially if you’re on other medication and have a complicated health history with a bunch of things going on.

If you missed the first episode where I cover the basics of H. pylori — CLICK HERE!

Healthy salad

Is There An H. pylori Diet?

I've been asked “what's the best diet to get rid of H. pylori?” since I started this series and the truth is…⁠

No diet exists to help you get rid of H. pylori.

Nor are there any elimination diets (with clinical research proving they work) that can effectively remove H. pylori.

While there are diet tips to help you manage symptoms (like heartburn), H.pylori IS NOT a food-fixable problem⁠.

And this is important given that H. pylori can do a lot of damage if left unaddressed.

Even if your symptoms seem to abate if you shift your diet, that doesn’t mean that H. pylori is gone.

Using dietary tactics in this way only manages symptoms and is, to some degree, like a bandaid.

The only way to be sure that H. pylori is gone is to test for it as many people do not have any classical symptoms pointing to it.

{HERE’S HOW TO TEST FOR H. PYLORI AT HOME}

That said, there are some foods that can help therapeutically.

So if you've got heartburn (which is one of the more common symptoms), removing common trigger foods such as…⁠(1)

  • tomato⁠
  • chocolate⁠
  • coffee and caffeinated beverages⁠
  • alcohol and red wine⁠
  • spicy and fried foods⁠
  • citrus⁠
  • peppermint⁠

… may help you along with elevating the head of your bed in the event that the burning sensation worsens at night.

And though there isn’t a diet that can eliminate H. pylori, there are certain foods that can be helpful!⁠

Helpful H. pylori foods include…⁠(1)

Adding these to your diet may be helpful as you use more “heavy duty” tools to help you give H. pylori the boot!

Doctor with antibiotics

Conventional Approach To Addressing H. pylori

I’ll start first with the conventional approach to removing H. pylori.

Conventional approaches to dealing with an H. pylori infection commonly includes a triple antibiotic combo along with a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) therapy that last anywhere from 7 to 14 days.(2)

I recognize and understand that many people in my community are uncomfortable with the idea of using these types of medications.

But there can be a time and place for antibiotics especially if your case is severe.

Whatever you decide (with the help of your doctor) should be based on a variety of factors including what else is going on with your gut health.

Just as there are no guarantees with pretty much anything in life, there can be a failure to clear H. pylori on the first attempt with the standard triple therapy.

One reason failures can occur has to do with the increasing rate of antibiotic resistance in today’s world.(2)

Research demonstrates that there are some other options that may prove better alternatives should you need a second round of treatment.(3)

Obviously discussing them when your doctor would be critical to gauge what’s best for you!

Aloe Vera

Alternative Approach To Get Rid Of H. pylori

If you’re wondering if alternative approaches exist for H. pylori, the answer is yes!

For some people, they may be good options to consider and I use them in my clinical practice.

  • Saccharomyces boulardii (1)
  • Mastic Gum (4)
  • Lactoferrin (1)
  • Bismuth (5)
  • Zinc Carnosine (6)
  • Colostrum (7)
  • Deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) (8)

There are certainly other natural agents available like Aloe Vera, quercetin, and melatonin, but lack human studies that help us understand their effectiveness. Most of the research on them has been done in animals or test tubes.

From my experience as a clinical nutritionist, you cannot just pick one of these options and assume it will work. Typically a combination is required in order to be more effective.

The choice of which I would suggest depends on the complete picture of what’s going on with a client.

For example, I definitely would not suggest that everyone use Saccharomyces boulardii. The reason is that S. boulardii is not ideal if you struggle with constipation.

S. boulardii is known to slow stool transit time which can be really helpful if you’re more diarrhea-prone!

But if you’re not pooping 1 to 3 times a day and your bowel movements are hard or like little rocks, S. boulardii will only make you more constipated.

Lactoferrin and Colostrum may not be a good idea for those with dairy or alpha-gal allergies (or who are vegan) as both are derived from Cow’s milk.

If you need help picking a formula or combo that’s right for you, speak with your practitioner or set up an appointment so we can talk through what’s going on!

And again, it goes without saying that failure to clear H. pylori exists even with the natural options as well.

Woman looking at ocean wondering if h. pylori is contagious

Is H. pylori Contagious?

One of the most surprising and important points that I mentioned in Part 1 of this series is that H. pylori can be found in saliva.

That means that it can be passed between partners unfortunately!(9,10)

It’s very common in my clinical practice to discover that a client in my practice who tests positive for H. pylori also has a spouse with it as well.

The reason this is a big deal is that it is possible to get H. pylori again.

If you discover you have it and then you get rid of it, you could become reinfected from your partner.

This certainly isn’t the only way to get H. pylori again, but it’s a big issue to consider!

So yes, reinfection is possible.

And while I do not consider myself an expert by any means in infections (as I’m not a doctor nor a scientist), my many interviews with people who are suggest that difficulty clearing H. pylori can happen.

Some listeners emailed me stating that they’ve been on numerous unsuccessful antibiotic and even alternative regimens to get rid of H. pylori.

In those cases, you’ll need to look deeper than H. pylori and even consider issues such as mold and mycotoxin exposure as a potential problem.

That’s why you must retest to ensure H. pylori is gone rather than assume it’s gone because your symptoms have lessened or seemed to have disappeared.

I really hope this gives you more insight on next steps if you discover that you have H. pylori.

Again, an important reminder to you is that you should discuss a protocol with your doctor or practitioner first.

You are unique and there can be a time and a place for different approaches.

Got any more H.pylori questions? Head on over to skinterrupt.com/141 and leave your thoughts there so we can keep the conversation going!

And before you head out for the day, make sure to rate, review the show, and then hit the subscribe button so the next episode lands on your mobile device without you having to do a thing.

Thank you so much for tuning in and I look forward to seeing you in the next episode!

Woman looking at reference books in library

REFERENCES

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5047973/
  2. https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/176938-treatment
  3. https://www.mdedge.com/familymedicine/article/171023/gastroenterology/whats-best-secondary-treatment-patients-who-fail
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19879118
  5. https://journals.lww.com/americantherapeutics/Abstract/2017/11000/Role_of_Bismuth_in_the_Eradication_of_Helicobacter.19.aspx
  6. https://www.naturalmedicinejournal.com/journal/2013-11/nutrient-profile-zinc-carnosine
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4866630/
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4166824/
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4310890/
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4310890/

Depending on the severity of your symptoms, H. pylori can do serious damage to your GI tract (like bleeding ulcers).


Jennifer Fugo, MS, CNS

Jennifer Fugo, MS, CNS is an integrative Clinical Nutritionist and the founder of Skinterrupt. She works with women who are fed up with chronic gut and skin rash issues discover the root causes and create a plan to get them back to a fuller, richer life.


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