You're likely to first see your family doctor or a general practitioner if you have signs or symptoms that indicate a complication of H. pylori infection. Your doctor may refer you to a specialist who treats diseases of the digestive system (gastroenterologist).
Because appointments can be brief, and because there's often a lot of ground to cover, it's a good idea to be well prepared for your appointment. Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment, and what to expect from your doctor.
What you can do
At the time you make the appointment, be sure to ask if there's anything you need to do in advance, such as restrict your diet. Before your appointment, you might want to write a list that answers the following questions:
- When did your symptoms begin? Does anything make them better or worse?
- Have your parents or siblings ever experienced similar problems?
- What medications or supplements do you take regularly?
Your time with your doctor is limited, so preparing a list of questions will help you make the most of your time together. For H. pylori infection, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- How did H. pylori infection cause the complications I'm experiencing?
- Can H. pylori cause other complications?
- What kinds of tests do I need?
- Do you have any brochures on this topic?
In addition to the questions that you've prepared to ask your doctor, don't hesitate to ask questions during your appointment at any time that you don't understand something.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may allow more time to cover other points you want to address. Your doctor may ask:
May. 24, 2011
- Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
- How severe are your symptoms?
- Do you regularly take medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others)?
- H. pylori and peptic ulcers. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/hpylori. Accessed March 25, 2011.
- Peura DA, et al. Helicobacter pylori. In: Feldman M, et al. Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, Management. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-6189-2..X0001-7--TOP&isbn=978-1-4160-6189-2&about=true&uniqId=229935664-2192. Accessed March 25, 2011.
- Crowe SE. Bacteriology and epidemiology of Helicobacter pylori infection. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed March 25, 2011.
- Tryforos M. Helicobacter pylori infection. In: Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2011: Instant Diagnosis and Treatment. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05610-6..C2009-0-38600-6--TOP&isbn=978-0-323-05610-6&about=true&uniqId=230100505-53. Accessed March 28, 2011.
- Malagelada JR, et al. Acid peptic disease: Clinical manifestations, diagnosis, treatment and prognosis. In: Goldman L, et al. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/191371208-2/0/1492/0.html#. Accessed March 28, 2011.
- Crowe SE. Treatment regimens for Helicobacter pylori. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed March 25, 2011.
- Talley NJ, et al. Gastric cancer consensus conference recommends Helicobacter pylori screening and treatment in asymptomatic persons from high-risk populations to prevent gastric cancer. American Journal of Gastroenterology. 2008;103:510.