I’m Dr. Tom Rofrano, founder of The Natural Medicine Clinic in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. I have had the opportunity to see over 100,000 patient visits over the last 34 years. Today, I’m going to talk about how a stomach bug called H. Pylori can cause your gut and thyroid issues and how to fix it.
What is H. Pylori?
It’s a bacteria that can inhabit your stomach. Over 50% of the world’s population has it, over 80% in some undeveloped countries, and in North America, over 20% of the people are estimated to have it. It can cause a wide range of symptoms.
It’s the primary cause of ulcers, gastritis, abdominal pain, burning, reflux, constipation, diarrhea, and belching. H. Pylori can also cause bad breath. You can develop other conditions like autoimmune diseases, thyroid Hashimoto’s or Graves’, and skin conditions from this bacteria.
H. Pylori Symptoms and Testing
Pylori is a prime cause for malabsorption, anemia, and esophageal and stomach cancer. It is important to be aware that this might be an underlying cause if you have any of these symptoms.
How do you diagnose H Pylori?
There are three different tests, but I recommend the stool test for the most accurate testing.
1. Blood and Breath Tests
There are blood and breath tests available, but they aren’t as accurate as stool testing. I’m not fond of the breath test because you have to drink a liquid loaded with aspartame, an artificial sweetener.
Some people also suffer from side effects of the drink, like burning of the throat and stomach, nausea, and diarrhea. Many of these symptoms are already present in people with H. Pylori.
2. Stool Test
I prefer the stool test because it’s accurate and easy to do. The stool test is an accurate diagnosis of whether you have an H. Pylori infection. I’ve recently had five patients diagnosed with H pylori, and I’ll briefly discuss their issues and how they got rid of H. pylori.
Traditional Treatment for H Pylori
The traditional treatment is antibiotic therapy. It is called triple therapy because it has two antibiotics and an acid-blocking drug. Over time, it has been proven not to be that effective.
So now the protocol is quadruple therapy, which adds an additional drug. There are also different combinations of hybrid therapies. Sometimes these therapies may involve having a patient take 14 prescription pills in one day for two or three weeks.
The success rate for these treatments varies from 29% to 90%, depending on the person and the area. Antibiotic resistance has evolved over the years, so it’s shown not to be as effective. That’s why the protocols had to keep changing and increasing dosages.
Sometimes people take three or four drugs for two weeks and then move on to other drugs.
Natural H. Pylori Treatment
Now that we’ve gone over the medical treatment protocol, we will cover the natural treatment. We’ve been able to help many patients that come in with an H. Pylori infection resolve it naturally.
There are three steps.
1. Get Tested
First, if you have symptoms, you get tested and find out if you have it.
2. Change Your Diet
Next, there is a diet that I created and use called the FreeDiet®. The diet is free of gluten, grain, sugar, and yeast- all foods that are commonly inflammatory, and bacteria love feeding on sugar and starches. You want to help starve them while at the same time giving products that help clear them out. That’s where the FreeDiet® diet comes into play.
Click here for a copy of The FreeDiet® phase 1 food chart, so at least you’ll know how to get started on that.
3. Take Specific Supplements to Support Gut Health
As far as supplements go, I’ll tell you what I found to be helpful below.
Effects Of These Natural Methods on My Patients
Here is a look at a few of the cases I’ve treated in my clinic:
Female – 20 Years Old
I saw a 20-year-old female patient who was suffering from extreme stomach burning, reflux, pain, bloating, and black stools, which is common. Typically that means ulcerations and bleeding in the stomach. Her stool test came back positive for H pylori.
Female – 36 Years Old
I also saw a 36-year-old woman dealing with severe fatigue, weakness, nausea, and constipation. She ended up with an iron deficiency, anemia and other deficiencies, which are common with H pylori. She was so fatigued and weak that she couldn’t even work for two months.
Conventional medical doctors told her she had anemia and to take iron supplements, but that wasn’t helping because it wasn’t fixing the underlying cause. She had internal bleeding because H. pylori can cause ulcers.
Male – 67 Years Old
I had a 67-year-old male patient dealing with constipation, diarrhea, bloating, abdominal pain, and heartburn.
Female – 37 Years Old
A 37-year-old female patient had similar symptoms: nausea, vomiting, constipation, bloating, iron deficiency, anemia, very weak, and couldn’t even exercise.
Every one of them had low thyroid function and gluten sensitivity.
Diet and Supplements for H. Pylori Gut Support
The diet I recommend is free of gluten and grains and is extremely helpful in treating this type of infection. The program also involves a combination of different supplements.
I recommend a very strong probiotic as well as our supplement called GastroBlast™. It is a combination of different nutrients like mastic gum, licorice, zinc carnosine, and cabbage extract. These are all compounds that have shown to be very helpful with this condition. It helps the stomach lining heal as well.
ProbioXtreme™, GastroBlast, Curcumin Protect™, C-Bioflavonoids 500, NAC (N Acetyl Cysteine), and GI-Mend are all compounds that when taken together, can help with eliminating symptoms of H Pylori.
All the patients mentioned above did a three-month protocol, and they all showed resolution with follow up testing.
The last step of the protocol is to retest to make sure the infection is gone. All of my patients’ tests showed the infection was gone, as well most of their symptoms. Their gut symptoms and skin symptoms like eczema, rashes, and itchiness (which are common symptoms) had all cleared up. They typically resolve when you follow the above-mentioned protocol.
Why It’s Important to Eliminate Alcohol with H. Pylori
I did have a 37-year-old female patient with all these similar symptoms that I mentioned. When I retested her, it hadn’t completely resolved. When I look at the differences between the patients, she was the only one that drank alcohol.
She did not quite follow the FreeDiet® 100% accurately, as she drank a lot of alcohol every weekend. Alcohol is very inflammatory to the stomach lining and can damage the stomach lining.
When you are trying to heal the stomach, alcohol is avoided on the FreeDiet® phase 1 for a reason. When you’re going through this, it is important if you want to get better, you have to strictly adhere to the diet. If you want to get better, then you have to stick with what works.
H. Pylori is a Stealth Infection
In the midst of all this, I found out I had H. pylori. I was in the process of testing another company to ensure I was using the best stool testing for my patients, and all my colleagues were talking about how great this one company was. I was comparing their stool test to the one I had been using, and so I did a test on myself. I used three companies- the original one and two others. To my surprise, the test came back positive for H. pylori, and that was through the company I’d been using all these years.
Not Everyone with H. Pylori Has Symptoms
It’s possible to have no symptoms and have H. pylori, as I wasn’t exhibiting any symptoms. I’ve had digestive symptoms and thyroid issues in the past, as well as Hashimoto’s, skin, joint, autoimmune, and other conditions.
I was surprised I came back positive for H. pylori as I hadn’t had any gut symptoms in a while. I did the complete protocol for six weeks, as I wanted to see if it would work in that amount of time. I did it for six weeks instead of three months. I retested, and the infection had been eliminated.
Contact Us Today for An Appointment
I hope this information has been helpful. If you think you may have H. pylori and want a natural functional medicine nutrition approach, please contact our office today. We would be happy to help.