H. pylori bacteria

H. Pylori Found to be More Common in U. S Drinking Water Than Originally Assumed.

While the photo above may look more like some kind of new Star Trek space travel vessel, it is really Helicobacter pylori (or H. pylori for short ) a common water-borne bacteria that is becoming a household concern and can have serious consequences if not treated promptly. Are you on well water? Than you are among the 75% of households that should be testing their water for this bacteria that has recently been discovered to be the cause of the second leading cancer in America: stomach and gastric system cancer.

Most people don't even know they have it, but the CDC and many environmental water testing facilities started testing city water and well water to see how prevalent H. pylori is in developed countries and did not expect the results they found. Until now, it was thought water-borne bacteria were mostly a problem in under-developed countries with poor water hygiene and no sanitation, but when recent medical research revealed that 50% of the U.S population has H. pylori in their stomach lining, a search for its source started becoming a priority.

Growing concern over the widespread increase of stomach problems such as ulcers, gastritis, bloating and cancer led the national centers for disease to become more diligent in finding out the cause, and once they discovered the link to H. pylori, they became more diligent in finding out how H. pylori is getting into water supplies. This led them to start testing city and rural water sources in the U.S which lead to the very recent discovery that 75% of all household in the U.S on well water have H. pylori bacteria in their wells.

Most persons who are infected with H. pylori never suffer any symptoms related to the infection; however, H. pylori causes chronic active, chronic persistent, and atrophic gastritis in adults and children. Infection with H. pylori also causes duodenal and gastric ulcers. Infected persons have a 2- to 6-fold increased risk of developing gastric cancer and mucosalassociated-lymphoid-type (MALT) lymphoma compared with their uninfected counterparts. The role of H. pylori in non-ulcer dyspepsia remains unclear.

If you or your family - and especially if your entire household - experience bloating more than once a week, H. pylori could be the culprit. This prolific bacteria has alluded scientists for years. Past belief in the medical world was that stomach ulcers and the eventual cancer that can follow were brought on by stress, toxins or poor diet, but in the last few years, it has been discovered that a tiny, water-borne bacteria is the biggest cause of gastritis, bloating, and if not treated promptly, G.I tract cancer.

H. pylori infection in the stomach liningWhat Makes H. Pylori Worse Than Other Bacteria.

Helicobacter pylori, or H. pylori, is a spiral-shaped bacterium that grows in the mucus layer that coats the inside of the human stomach.
To survive in the harsh, acidic environment of the stomach, H. pylori secretes an enzyme called urease, which converts the chemical urea to ammonia. The production of ammonia around H. pylori neutralizes the acidity of the stomach, making it more hospitable for the bacterium. In addition, the helical shape of H. pylori allows it to burrow into the mucus layer, which is less acidic than the inside space, or lumen, of the stomach. H. pylori can also attach to the cells that line the inner surface of the stomach.

Although immune cells that normally recognize and attack invading bacteria accumulate near sites of H. pylori infection, they are unable to reach the stomach lining. In addition, H. pylori has developed ways of interfering with local immune responses, making them ineffective in eliminating this bacterium

In 1994, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified H. pylori as a carcinogen, or cancer-causing agent, in humans.

Who Should be Concerned About H. Pylori and How to Test for it.

Any time you travel to an underdeveloped country or area, you run the risk of contracting H. Pylori from unsanitized water supplies. Although up until now it was thought H. pylori was only prevalent in countries with poor water sanitation, it has recently been discovered to be in 75% of all well water in the U. S also. So if your home is on well water, it is recommended by the CDC and Health departments that you have your well water tested for bacteria on a annual basis anyway, and specifically have it tested for the H, pylori bacteria. However, while doing research for this article, we found very few water testing labs accessible to homeowners that are equipped to test for H. pylori.

Even though it is the specific function of many water testing labs to test water for homeowners, every lab is set up to only test for certain elements. For instance, some water testing labs only test for minerals, arsenic, lead etc., and do not test for any bacteria. Many labs that test for bacteria in water only test for the most common types such as coliform bacteria from agricultural runoff and very few test for H. pylori since it is just recently discovered as a common bacteria in drinking water. When you contact a water testing facility, be sure to specifically ask them if they test for H. pylori, otherwise paying up to $80 for testing your water will not necessarily be effective in identifying all that is in it.

Symptoms to be Concerned About.

Persistent or Frequent Bloating: If you have ruled out other causes of chronic bloating (bloating every time you eat or more than once a week) such as use of antibiotics which cause a disruption and imbalance of stomach flora leading to bloating, constipation or diarrhea symptoms, or irritable bowel disease, celiac disease and other common stomach disorders, ask your doctor to test you for the H. pylori bacteria specifically. There are several different types of tests available now to determine if you have an H. pylori infection, but most doctors do not consider it a cause for gastric problems unless you specifically mention it to them. Doctors are not typically up to date on the most recent studies and findings, so it is your job to be; and since H. pylori in well water is a recent discovery, you will no doubt have to be the one to bring it up to your doctor.

Symptoms of Gastric Ulcers: Approximately 25 million Americans suffer from peptic ulcer disease at some point in their lifetime. Each year there are 500,000 to 850,000 new cases of peptic ulcer disease and more than one million ulcer-related hospitalizations. The most common ulcer symptom is gnawing or burning pain in the epigastrium. This pain typically occurs when the stomach is empty, between meals and in the early morning hours, but it can also occur at other times. It may last from minutes to hours and may be relieved by eating or by taking
Less common ulcer symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. Bleeding can also occur; prolonged bleeding may cause anemia leading to weakness and fatigue. If bleeding is heavy, hematemesis, hematochezia, or melena may occur.

h. pylori bacteriaHow to Avoid H. Pylori:

In general, it is always wise for persons to wash hands thoroughly, to eat food that has been properly cleaned, and to drink water from a safe, clean source. If you are using well water, having it tested annually for bacteria is a good idea anyway as the conditions of well water can change with heavy rains and over time.

It is now determined that H. pylori can be spread through saliva as well as other bodily fluids, so contracting it from other human beings and spreading it is very common. Avoiding this bacteria completely for your entire lifetime is therefore unlikely. It is probably best to assume you already have it or will get it and to take precautionary measures to make sure it does not get a strong hold in your stomach environment by taking beneficial gut bacteria like acidophilus on a weekly basis, taking heed of any gastric problems early on and using natural or antibiotic remedies to keep it at a minimum.


How To Eradicate H. Pylori and Treat it.

If you find or even suspect you may have an infection due to H. pylori, a strict and persistent treatment with antibiotics or natural bacteria-killing remedies is necessary. H. pylori is difficult to eradicate due to it's prolific and adaptive nature, so any treatment must be strong enough and long enough to kill the bacteria. Some sources claim it can never be completely killed off once it is in your system, all a patient can do is control it from taking over the environment in the stomach. Until further research is done so more adequate treatments can be found, here are a few we have learned about from our sources and input from people who have treated the bacteria themselves.

Natural remedies other than antibiotics will be less expensive over the long term and better for you since using antibiotics only causes more stomach disfunction because they kill all the bacteria in the stomach including the beneficial bacteria that you need to keep your stomach in balance. You should take acidophilus after taking antibiotics for this very reason. A few natural remedies to try that won't kill off the good bacteria in your stomach are colloidal silver, Manuka honey, black walnut hull extracts, unsweetened cranberry juice and eating raw garlic. Since H. pylori is so difficult to get rid of once you have it, you will probably need to do more than one of these remedies at the same time, or all of them at once time, for it to work. Also be sure to treat your water while you are treating yourself or these remedies will be to no avail as the bacteria will no doubt just return in your source of contamination.

Treating Your Water.

If you suspect H. pylori may be in your well water and cannot find a lab to test it for you (as we had difficulty finding testing labs ourselves) then you can boil your water before using it for drinking. Most water filters will not work against bacteria and boiling your water is the only way to be sure of killing bacteria. Cooked food will be fine, but anything that you eat raw should be washed in boiled water, not water from your tap, and anything you make with water to be consumed without cooking, such as juice concentrates, salad greens and just drinking water should be boiled first before added to non-cooked food or used for drinking.

You can also treat your well annually by disinfecting it with bleach to kill bacteria, however, just as with any chlorination treatment of water, even city water that is chlorinated, it has been researched and discovered that even small amounts of chlorine or fluoride are also carcinogenic and leads to diseases and cancers.

An alternative to treating your well with bleach or chlorination is to treat it with hydrogen peroxide instead. It is safer for human consumption and will kill bacteria also. We have a link to pdf file instruction on how to treat your well water here.

For more information on H. pylori,the CDC has established an H. pylori web site and information line for health care providers and
patients. The Internet address is www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dbmd/hpylori.htm.
The toll free number is 1-888-MY ULCER

Photos from top: 1.) H. pylori's oblong shape and tentacles allow it to burrow and attach itself to the stomach wall and lining. 2.) The white spots in this medical photo are the H. pylori bacteria. 3.) H. pylori is a more dangerous and prevalent factor in stomach distress and cancers than once originally thought.


commercially made breads usually contain bromide which causes iodine deficiency

What You Might Not Know About Bromide in Breads.

by Circkles.com

We want to be clear here that the iodine we are writing about is not the orange-brown kind of iodine used topically to put on wounds. That type of iodine is poisonous if ingested orally. The type of iodine we are referring to here is the kind found in sea vegetables and crustaceans. The type of iodine found in iodized salt that the thyroid needs in order to function.

Hypothyroidism is far more prevalent than once thought in the U.S. The latest estimates are that 13 million Americans have hypothyroidism. It is now thought by health research that hypothyroidism is actually more prevalent than diabetes in our society. This is due to iodine levels that have significantly dropped due to bromine exposure, declining consumption of iodized salt, eggs, fish, and sea vegetables; and soil depletion.
In the U.S. population, there was a 50 percent reduction in urinary iodine excretion between 1970 and 1990. People in Japan consume 80 times more iodine than Americans because they consume sea vegetables on a daily basis. It is thought that one of the reasons Japan has the lowest cancer rates in the world is because iodine has documented antioxidant and anti-proliferative properties. The RDA for iodine in the U.S. is a meager 150 mcg/day, which pales in comparison with the average daily intake of 13800 mcg/day for the Japanese.

Low iodine can lead to such minor conditions as fibrocystic breast disease in women (density, lumps, and bumps), hyperplasia, and atypical mammary tissue. Such fibrocystic changes in breast tissue have been shown to reverse in the presence of iodine supplementation after 3-4 months. Major iodine deficiencies can lead to the thyroid not functioning or what is commonly referred to as hypothyroidism, or an under-productive thyroid gland. General symptoms of hypothyroidism include always having cold hands and feet, feeling lethargic or lacking energy, an abnormally low body temperature, hormone dysfunctions and greatly increases your risk for cancer.

How does bromide factor into all this?

Bromide Causes Iodine Deficiency and Thyroid Disease. Bromine exposure depletes your body’s iodine by competing with iodine receptors. Iodine is crucial for thyroid function. Without iodine, your thyroid gland would be completely unable to produce thyroid hormone. If you have been treated for hypothyroidism, you are familiar with the names of the different forms of thyroid hormone which also reflect the number of iodine molecules attached -- T4 has four attached iodine molecules, and T3 (the biologically active form of the hormone) has three--showing what an important part iodine plays in thyroid biochemistry.

Bromide in Flour, Mountain Dew and Other Products:

Potassium Bromate is used in most commercially milled flours. Even though it is banned in many countries, it is not in the U. S. and nearly every time you eat bread in a restaurant or consume a hamburger or hotdog bun you are consuming bromide.

The use of potassium bromate as an additive to commercial breads and baked goods has been a huge contributor to bromide overload in Western cultures. Bromated flour is “enriched” with potassium bromate. Commercial baking companies claim it makes the dough more elastic and better able to stand up to bread hooks. However, Pepperidge Farm and other successful companies manage to use only unbromated flour without any of these so-called “structural problems.”

Potassium bromate is also found in some toothpastes and mouthwashes, where it’s added as an antiseptic and astringent. It has been found to cause bleeding and inflammation of gums in people using these products.

Mountain Dew, one of the worst beverages you can drink, uses brominated vegetable oil as an emulsifier. Not only that, it contains high fructose corn syrup, sodium benzoate, more than 55 mg of caffeine per 12 ounce can, and Yellow Dye #5 (tartrazine, which has been banned in Norway, Austria, and Germany.)

Even drinking water can be a source of bromide. When drinking water containing bromide is exposed to ozone, bromate ions are formed, which are powerful oxidizing agents. Such was the case in 2004 when Coca Cola Company had to recall Dasani bottled water.

Sodium bromate can also be found in personal care products, such as permanent waves, hair dyes, and textile dyes. Benzalkonium is used as a preservative in some cosmetics. Finally, bromine and chlorine were the most common toxic elements reportedly found in automobiles in 2007. They showed up in the seats, armrests, door trim, shift knobs and other areas of the car and you are breathing them in whenever you sit in a hot or heated auto.

Tips for Avoiding Bromine and Optimizing Iodine.

Trying to avoid bromine is like trying to avoid air pollution -- all you can do is minimize your exposure. That said, here are a few things you can do to minimize your risk:

Eat organic as often as possible. Wash all produce thoroughly. This will minimize your pesticide exposure.

Avoid eating or drinking from (or storing food and water in) plastic containers. Use glass and safe ceramic vessels.

Look for organic whole-grain breads and flour. Grind your own grain, if possible. Look for the “no bromine” or “bromine-free” label on commercial baked goods.

Avoid sodas. Drink natural, filtered water instead.

If you own a hot tub, look into an ozone purification system. Such systems make it possible to keep the water clean with minimal chemical treatments. The chlorine in treated water also depletes the body of iodine.

Look for personal care products that are as non-toxic as possible. Remember -- anything going on your skin gets absorbed into your bloodstream.

When in a car or a building, open windows as often as possible, preferably on opposing sides of the space for cross ventilation. Utilize fans to circulate the air. Chemical pollutants are much higher inside buildings (and cars) than outside.

If you are interested in being tested for iodine deficiency, the urine iodine challenge test is the best way to assess your iodine level. Or, you can more than likely assume you are not getting enough iodine in your diet and should supplement for it to avoid future health issues.

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