Q I have had an H. pylori infection, and although it subsided for awhile, the symptoms continued for almost a year, and now the infection is back again with a vengeance. I have classic ulcer symptoms: a gnawing, nauseous stomach that wakes me in the night (with difficulty in resuming sleep), loose stools, etc.

My GP continues to recommend antibiotics, even though they haven’t worked well for me. In the first round, I followed the instructions to a T, only to discover that I still had the bacteria. The second round resulted in a rash over most of my body, with itching too. Fed up, I stopped taking the drugs.

How effective are your herbal formulations? How would I know if the infection is gone after using them? I’m told that blood tests will always show the presence of H. pylori, even if the bacteria have been eradicated. I find this all very confusing. If you can give me some advice, I would greatly appreciate it.

MARIE, Phoenix

A Mastic is quite valuable in this regard, and although its use at 1 to 2 g/day can require up to a month for eradication, relief could be yours much sooner. Also, because reinfection is common, many choose to continue with a maintenance level of 1/2 to 1 g/day. (See page 23 of this issue for an article concerning other health-supporting uses for mastic, as well as a possible way to prevent reinfection.)

Regarding the accuracy of tests for H. pylori, the noninvasive monoclonal stool antigen test (mSAT) has been found to be accurate both for initial detection and for diagnosis following eradication.1 The mSAT has been found to have higher sensitivity than the polyclonal test, especially in the post-treatment setting. This test is available through Quest Diagnostics (www.questdiagnostics.com) and other fine laboratories throughout the USA.


  1. Gisbert JP, de la Morena F, Abraira V. Accuracy of monoclonal stool antigen test for the diagnosis of H. pylori infection: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Gastroenterol 2006;101(8):1921-30.

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