Six out of 10 Mexicans are carriers of the bacteria helicobacter pylori, which is directly related to gastritis and gastric cancer, specialists warned this Thursday.
“Infection by helicobacter pylori it is different in each country. While in developed countries it has been decreasing, in developing countries, like Mexico, its prevalence is still high, ”said the gastroenterologist and endoscopist María Eugenia Icaza Chávez at a press conference.
He explained that in the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean it is estimated that approximately 63 percent of the inhabitants have the infection; in contrast, in Europe it is present in around 30 percent of its inhabitants.
“This means that in Mexico 6 out of 10 people have the bacteria, but most are asymptomatic and only 10 percent will develop peptic ulcers that can be gastric or duodenal ”, he specified.
He also said that between 90 and 95 percent of duodenal ulcer cases have helicobacter pylori in the stomach and between 70 and 80 percent of gastric ulcers have active infection. One of the most common complications of this infection, he specified, is dyspepsia associated with this bacterium., what is the discomfort in the pit of the stomach that patients commonly call gastritis.
Another complication is gastric cancer that occurs when there is chronic exposure to the bacteria.
He stressed that the infection is acquired more frequently during childhood and can be among relatives who share the same house or among children, due to their close coexistence with secretions, fecal matter, dirty hands, saliva, and bad hygienic-dietary habits.
He recalled that most of those who have the infection are asymptomatic, although there are those who have pain in the pit of the stomach, a feeling of being very satisfied after eating and nausea. However, when peptic ulcer already exists there may be pain in the pit of the stomach, vomiting and in case of bleeding, dark stools and anemia; while in the case of gastric cancer, these signs also include weight loss, anemia.