CAN I STILL KISS MY HUSBAND IF I HAVE H. PYLORI?
Q Dear Dr. V,
I am very happy with the results I have gotten with Bye-Lori. All the antibiotic treatments failed, with horrendous side effects. Since taking Bye-Lori for one month now, I feel much better, and I believe I have eradicated the H. pylori bacteria. My question is, since I asked my husband to take a blood test for H. pylori and it came back negative, should he be treated anyway so I do not infect him? I am scared now to even kiss him. Thank you for a wonderful product.

ED

A Dear ED,
Life is too short to forego the enjoyment of kissing your husband. Studies indicate that 40% or more of the world’s population carries the bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), but I can find no studies confirming how it is transmitted.1 It is generally believed that transmission of H. pylori is a family affair and that transmission, by whatever means, is much more likely between family members or through a common source.2 It is thought that since both the mouth and the stomach are contiguous parts of the gastrointestinal tract, the bacteria may be transmitted orally, via traces of food regurgitated from stomach to mouth. Even so, it is unrealistic to live your life trying to prevent reinfecting yourself or to prevent infecting your husband. Both of you would have to give up kissing altogether, with everyone.

There are no studies available about H. pylori reinfection after using Bye-Lori. According to Dr. Michael Rowland, a gastroenterologist at University College Dublin's Children's Hospital, reinfection after successful treatment for H. pylori is uncommon in adults, but more likely to occur in children because they acquire primary infections.3 In my opinion, however, the sheer ubiquity of H. pylori must entail some significant risk of reinfection.

Additionally, because it is difficult for most patients to comply with the traditional protocol of multiantibiotics (plus other drugs) for eradicating H. pylori, many get temporary relief but never actually eradicate the bacteria. As well, these standard drugs are not without side effects, such as yeast infections and the development of resistant bacteria.

I suspect you have had H. pylori for a long time, and, like many others, your husband may have it even though he may not have symptoms. I suggest using Bye-Lori if you become symptomatic or if he does, or if either of you test positive via laboratory results for H. pylori. A maintenance program (after initial recommended amounts) of 25% to 50% - depending on your frequency of recurrence - may also be of benefit.

Dr. V

References

  1. Rowland M. Transmission of Helicobacter pylori: is it all child's play? Lancet 2000 Jan 29;355(9201):332-3.
  2. Dominici P, Bellentani S, Di Biase AR, Saccoccio G, Le Rose A, Masutti F, Viola L, Balli F, Tiribelli C, Grilli R, Fusillo M, Grossi E. Familial clustering of Helicobacter pylori infection: population-based study. BMJ 1999 Aug 28;319(7209):537-40.
  3. Rowland M, Kumar D, Daly L, O'Connor P, Vaughan D, Drumm B. Low rates of Helicobacter pylori reinfection in children. Gastroenterol 1999 Aug;117(2):336-41.

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