H. Pylori Treatment Protocol:
For most gut “infections” my go-to’s are Colloidal Silver, Wild Oil of Oregano and a few other antimicrobial blends. However, there is much debate over H. Pylori as pathogenic.
Most of the time, this bacterium is far from dangerous….it is usually just an overgrowth DUE TO stomach dysfunction or some other inflammatory process occurring in the body.
The goal should simply be to normalize stomach function. Unless it is a downright virulent infection- then we can bring in the big guns with antimicrobials.
For an in-depth discussion of this controversy and further thoughts on treatment, check out my blog “H. Pylori- A Different Approach.”
The protocol below is for a very progressed infection of Pylori.
In most cases, I do not feel antimicrobials even need to be used. Of course there are exceptions. For the majority of folks who have tested “positive,” I simply recommend strengthening the GI system and stomach function, repairing leaky gut, and restoring a healthy microbiome.
The most supportive product I have found for normalizing and regulating stomach function is Microbiomelabs “ MegaGuard.” This product can do a whole lot, and doesn’t just “kill.” It “balances” H. Pylori, as well as stomach acid.
Restoring the eco-system of our GI, striving for homeostasis and control of the pH (acidity), with diet, herbs, and supplements will go a lot further than harsh antibiotics or anti-microbials.
For a restorative and supportive approach to addressing an H. Pylori overgrowth, here are the TOP 5 supplements I recommend:
- MegaGuard- by Microbiomelabs. Balances P.H. of gut, crowds out Pylori with specific herbs.
- Restore – Get cells communicating, repairs leaky gut
- Digestzymes – by Designs for Health. Replenishes depleted enzymes and has HCL for depleted stomach acid, which usually accompanies H. Pylori overgrowth.
- MegaSporebiotic- by Microbiomelabs. Cutting edge soil based probiotic that creates natural antibiotics in gut lining.
- GastroMend- Designs for Health. Botanicals like Mastic Gum that is very effective for bloating, heartburn and healing mucosa, specifically designed for H. Pylori overgrowth.
If you feel you have severe infection, follow protocol below and try implementing antimicrobials.
I believe in following a Functional Medicine approach (the 4 R’s) which offers a framework around addressing gut infection. I will follow this up with a Chinese Medical interpretation. In my experience, combining both Western and Eastern schools of thought will offer you the greatest potential in healing.
I will give you options for antimicrobials (natural antibiotics), however, you will most likely need to rotate them every 2- 3 weeks as often the best results come from taking 2-3 compounds at a time. To me, it has always made the most sense to at least TRY to address infection (and disease in general) with nature first……if that fails, then drugs can be considered. As far as alternative doctor’s go, I am (I think) a rarer breed- sometimes we need pharmaceuticals. They have their place, and we are lucky to have science and technology at our fingertips. My goal with patients is to guide them in healing and find quality of life again. If drugs become the obvious and necessary route after all holistic approaches fail, then so be it. Sometimes both are ideal, even complimentary. Botanicals and natural compounds usually come with a fraction of the side effects as drugs and can save us from using atomic bombs on our microbiomes……now how could that be bad.
Step #1: REMOVE
Here are the compounds that I have found most effective clinically in treating an H. Pylori infection:
- MesoSilver by Purest Colloids: This is my top choice (I am transitioning from Selling the Argentyn brand; an unbiased scientist by the name of Francis Key, founder of "Colloidal Science Laboratory" has researched all brands of silver, their laboratory practices, standards and efficacy. He and his colleagues have concluded that the very well known Argentyn is actually fairly low in particle surface area- meaning it is just not all that effective. Also, I was not getting good reults with this brand clinically. Meso proves, according to scientists, to be very high in particle surface area. To read the lab analysis reports on brands of silver click here. I’m a huge fan fan of colloidal silver (silver nanoparticles). People are constantly questioning its safety and honestly, I find it silly at this point. If it concerns you, go here to my Scientific Articles section, scroll down to safety of Colloidal Silver and go to town. I created that section for those of you still not up-to-date on the efficacy and safety of silver. I’ve drank gallons. I’m not blue. Nor is anyone in the history of silver drinking except the one blue faced man everyone references who drank colloidal salts, not silver. Before penicillin was discovered in 1934, silver was one of the main things used to treat infection. It is a very effective towards fungus, yeast and bacteria. Here is a dosing schedule written by an MD: Dosing Instructions Argentyn 23 for IBS (can still use this brands dosing schedule, no problem), general safety info here.
- Wild Oil of Oregano – American Herb and Spice, one of only 2 companies that are making the real deal. The rest are making some synthetic version that should not be used. The other company is Joy of the Mountains- they are more expensive. I try to carry the best AND most affordable supplements, as I have experienced firsthand the financial strain of illness.
- GI Microbe X – Designs for Health. Very effective blend of antimicrobials to combat infection. Contains berberine, shown to target H. Pylori.
* Dosing is key. Misguided dosing schedules are the biggest reason I see people fail in getting results with botanicals. For the first 2 weeks you must take the antimicrobials every 3 hours. Bacteria can double every 20 minutes (if it wants to). You must be committed to a very strict regime if you want results. After the second week, you can begin to taper down. So if you are getting 5-6 doses in for the first 2-3 weeks, try tapering down to 4-5 doses, then 3 and so on. If symptoms begin to resolve but then creep back up when taking smaller doses, go back up to higher dose for another week or two. Treatment time is DRASTICALLY different per person. Some people have to intermittently take antimicrobials to keep infection at bay. If botanicals do not resolve symptoms, pharmaceuticals should be considered.
*Take soil based probiotics at bed time, 3 hours from last dose of antimicrobial. In theory, if a potent antimicrobial such as the ones listed are taken too close to a probiotic, the antimicrobial could weaken or altogether eliminate the effectiveness of the probiotic.
To eradicate infection, you will need antimicrobials AS WELL AS bio-film busters. Infectious bacteria create colonies, forming a glue-like ‘shield’ around them for protection. You have to penetrate through the biofilms to even get access to killing the pathogens. Often when results are elusive, it is because the compound being used is not able to get through the biofilm.
Best Biofilm Buster Combo:
- Liposomal EDTA - Quicksilver Scientific
- NAC- Thorne: N-Acetycysteine *very important. It pulls the iron out of the biofilm, is the precursor to glutathione and also a powerful antioxidant. Do not exceed 1,000 mg daily
*I do not find enzymes (i.e. the popular product Interphase Plus by Klaire Labs) to be a strong enough biofilm reducer. Clinically I failed to see results with this product.
Die-off and Detoxification
Die-off (herxheimer effect) of microbes is a huge issue for a lot of people. As these infectious pathogens die, they release toxins into the blood stream causing symptoms such as fatigue, headache, bodyache, joint pain, nausea, diarrhea etc. To greatly reduce such occurrences, one needs binders. In my practice, I will not prescribe anti-microbial supplements without binders. This is essential, and very important to prevent recirculation of toxins. While of course binders will not rid every single toxin out of your body, they significantly lighten the load. If toxins are just sitting in your body, they pose risk for damaging cells. Examples of potetn binders are clay and charcoal.
* Binders are very safe with little to no side effects except constipation- see below.
To have a more in depth look at binders visit my blog “The Importance of Binders” here.
I personally and clinically prefer binding “formulas,” meaning combinations of multiple binders. As different binders have varying affinities for certain substances, formulas are the best option because you are covering all bases. Choose a binder:
- G.I. Detox- Bio-Botanical
- Ultrabinder by Quicksilver Scientific. Similar to GI Detox formula, but contains silica. Silica is very potent binder and should be considred if gut is very overloaded with toxins.
While taking binders it is VERY IMPORTANT to increase water intake. Binders slow down digestion and can cause constipation. It is almost guaranteed that if you’re on binders you will need to take higher doses of Magnesium Citrate. This form of Magnesium can be used as a mild, gentle laxative. It is absolutely necessary to keep the bowels moving to prevent toxin recirculation. If you are suffering from diarrhea, binders might be ideal.
Other ideas to support detoxification:
Sweating- anything and everything you can do to sweat, including saunas, hot yoga, fast walking, bike riding.
If you take or do nothing else for your body for detoxification, consider CytoDetox (zeolite-a natural mineral) that helps removal of everything; heavy metals, biotoxins from mold exposure and lyme, chemiclas we inhale daily from care exhaust and toxic house-hold cleaners etc. I have seen so many patients eyes go from dull with dark circles to bright and shiny just from a few rounds of zeolite. It also cuts through biofilms and reduces histamine. It really is natures best choice for detoxification (not all zeolite on the market created equal, beware).
Lymphatic Support by Cellcore: supports bile flow by opening drainage pathways of lymph system, goes great with Cytodetox.
Epson Salt Baths- support the elimination of toxins
Step #2: REPLACE
With an H. Pylori infection, Hydrochloric acid and digestive enzymes can be lacking. Digestive enzymes can really aid in the breakdown of food- form carbohydrates, to protein, lipids, and vegetable fibers. Sometimes digestive enzymes taken with meals can help reduce symptoms such as gas and bloating. Often if someone has taken lots of pharmaceuticals, they are depleted of digestive enzymes, which can really help with breaking down food.
- Digestzymes- 60,90, or 180 count- Designs for Health: contains small amount of HCL (deactivates H. Pylori).
- Betaine HCL – Designs for Health. High potency of HCL which some people really need with a Pylori overgrowth.
Step #3: REINOCULATE
I have somewhat different views on probiotics. Traditional probiotics never really did anything for me (I have Colitis), and let me tell you, I tried every brand under the sun. I find this pretty common. I always really wanted them to help my patients, they just didn’t. Firstly, there is evidence now that states the ‘regular’ probiotics cannot possibly survive the acidity of the stomach. Furthermore, the probiotic industry took off so fast, no one really questioned it. There is actually very little, if any, regulation on probiotic supplements. Any company can make a probiotic and can make all kinds of claims, use inferior strains that cannot possibly colonize (but are dirt cheap), and sell it for crazy expensive prices. And, for a probiotic to actually stay ‘alive,’ it definitely has to remain refrigerated; non-refrigerated probiotics are dead. Now, how many of these companies do you think are actually paying for their products to be shipped around the country refrigerated? Not many….
Soil organism probiotics, however, are a completely different thing. They DO survive the acidity of the stomach. They include strains that help our immune system recognize the invaders, and also produce natural antibiotics in the gut lining. They are incredibly potent and should be taken in VERY low doses to begin. I wrote a blog with all the essential info on these types of spores- read here. Re-populating with soil based organisms can be extremely beneficial in cases of inflammatory bowel disease. Very important to read up on them first, check out my blog on them here.
- Soil Organism Based Probiotic- MegaSporebiotic: this company makes, by far, the most superior soil based probiotic supplement on the market.
Step #4: REPAIR
The mucosal lining of intestines has been compromised. The infection caused inflammation, hence resulting in leaky gut. To repair the tight junctions of the colon walls, support the body with things such as glutamine and collagen. Repairing the lining of the intestines is no small feat. However, once you really eradicate the infection, the lining will begin to repair itself naturally because the inflammation will have greatly decreased. While this healing process will organically occur, it is really beneficial to take supplements to support and enhance this process. In my opinion, collagen is ideal along with soothing herbs. Collagen is made up of powerful amino acids (and they are not synthetic, they are ‘food based’) that the cell walls of our colons need to rebuild tissue. For a more in depth look into leaky gut, what's involved in repairing the lining of the intestines with supplements and a look at the best amino acids for this process check out my blog "Plugging Away the Holes of Leaky Gut."
By far my favorite product for repairing the integrity of the tight junctions is Restore:
- RESTORE is unlike any supplement on the market.; a soil-derived, scientifically backed mineral supplement that has been shown in lab studies to strengthen tight junctions in the gut wall, our firewall against toxins entering the body. I have seen incredible results with this product within weeks. Highly suggest researching this product. It is unparalleled in its ability to repair leaky gut. I much prefer this approach over Glutamine (which clinically I fail to see great results with- see more on this below).
- MegaGuard – by Microbiomelabs. Excellent product for crowding out Pylori and heal the gastric mucosa. *Bonus: this product really is a 2 in 1 (Remove + Repair).
Best combo for healing mucosal lining from H. Pylori infection:
Restore + MegaGuard
*** Glutamine Awareness ***
Glutamine has shown fantastic results for some, others have an adverse reaction to it. If you have severe leaky gut, glutamine should be approached with caution. Glutamine is the precursor to glutamate- one of two excitatory neurotransmitters in the brain. Because of the gut-brain axis (they intricately affect one-another), glutamine can potentially cause extreme anxiety among other symptoms in some people. Amino acid therapy is not black and white, it can go either direction. Glutamine supplementation has become a fad in the alternative medicine world yet alternative doctors are not educating people on the potential side effects. I have seen equally as many patients (as well as myself) have an adverse reaction to glutamine as I have positive. Now, for those that glutamine benefits, it seems to really benefit. As always, be your own detective, monitor closely, and begin with small doses.
A Traditional Chinese Medicine Perspective of H. Pylori Infection
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) encompasses how the body interacts with all aspects of life and the environment, seasons, weather, diet and emotional states. It is a system that emphasizes pattern recognition per each individual. It sees the key to health as the balanced functioning of the body, mind, spirit and holds that this balance depends on the unobstructed flow of Qi, or “life force” energy throughout the body along pathways known as ‘meridians.’ TCM practitioners see disease as the result of disruption in the circulation of Qi (in the very simplest of terms).
Chinese Medicine strongly identifies each person as very unique in their disease pattern. For example, if a Chinese practitioner had ten H. Pylori infected patients standing before them, each might be diagnosed very differently. Now of course there may be some underlying diagnostic similarities among these ten people…….but they could perhaps each have different patterns in how the disease originally ensued. Each person is identified according to their individual constitution, each course of treatment (what herbs to prescribe and where to put needles) specific to their pattern of disharmony. Perhaps this is not too far off from Western Medicine- one person responds great to a biologic, another does not. Chinese Medicine is simply far more intricate. Point being- every person is vastly unique in regard to what their needs are for healing. This is the beauty of Chinese Medicine.
Differing constitutions of individuals will elicit a unique Chinese Medical diagnosis. I do know that Chinese theory will not make sense to most, but I find it important to at least offer the most common differential diagnosis in Chinse terms so that the reader can begin down the path of understanding their illness specific to their constitution. This differential diagnosis could also be a contributing factor as to why people respond differently to medications/supplements.
In traditional Chinese medicine theory, H. pylori-associated gastritis is mainly caused by emotional injury or exogenous evil generated by improper diet and greatly impacts the Spleen and Stomach qi. Among the exogenous evil, damp and hot are the primary pathogenic factors
“Ye studied the curative effect of Chinese medicine gargle in the treatment of H. pylori-associated chronic gastritis. Seventy-six patients infected with H. pylori were randomly divided into experimental and control groups. The experimental group was treated with traditional Chinese medicine gargle and triple antibiotic therapy, while the control group was only treated with triple antibiotic therapy. The results showed that the cure rate and the total effectiveness rate of the experimental group were 90% and 95%, respectively. The cure rate and the total effectiveness rate of the control group were 39% and 72%, respectively. The effect of traditional Chinese medicine gargle combined with triple therapy was superior to that of triple therapy. Introduction of traditional Chinese medicine gargle generates a higher cure rate and simultaneously adds a very limited cost, representing a promising new treatment method.”
DE Gruyter, Treatment of H. Pylori-associated gastritis using traditional Chinese Medicine, Infection International 2018; 7 (1): 1-5
Chinese Herbal Therapy Recommendation for H. Pylori:
Resinal E by Health Concerns- this formula provides Papain along with Bromelain, Trypsin, Chymotrypsin, Rutin, Dragons’ Blood (shown to reduce H. Pylori, San Qi, Boswellia (tissue inflammation), Myrrh resin, Borneol, and Catechu.