( H. pylori
) is the bacteria responsible for most
The bacteria can weaken the protective coating of the stomach, allowing digestive juices to irritate the sensitive stomach lining.
Gastritis - Helicobacter pylori; H. pylori
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
As many as half of the world's population is infected with H. pylori. Those living in developing countries or crowded, unsanitary conditions are most likely to contract the bacterium, which is passed from person to person. H. pylori only grows in the stomach, and is usually contracted during childhood.
Interestingly, many people have this organism in their stomach, but don't get an ulcer or gastritis. Coffee drinking, smoking, and drinking alcohol increase your risk for an ulcer from H. pylori.
Review Date: 08/01/2009
Reviewed By: Reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc., and George F Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program San Diego, California.