Helicobacter Pylori, or H Pylori for short, is a spiral shaped bacterium that lives in the stomach and small intestine.
Research has clearly shown that because of its shape, H Pylori is able to “drill” into the lining of our stomach and duodenum (small intestine).
Think of the gut lining as a kind of internal “skin”. When H Pylori screws itself into that lining, it causes irritation, swelling and inflammation. It’s a bit like getting tiny thorns stuck in your skin. The irritation and inflammation leads to two relatively common conditions: gastritis and duodenitis.
It is the inflammation and damage to the stomach lining that can trigger chain reactions that lead to weight gain. Here are 3 ways this happens:
H Pylori & Weight Gain Explanation #1.
Whenever there is inflammation in the body, the adrenal glands produce “fire-fighting” hormones. The main hormone is cortisol. We often see high levels of cortisol in people who have H pylori because the inflammation is causing excess cortisol to be released.
When cortisol is high, it can actually lead to the storage of body fat around the tummy and in “spare tyres” around the waist.
Over time, if the inflammation from H Pylori is not resolved, the adrenal glands may become weakened. At this point, they may not be able to produce enough cortisol. In turn this may lead to an inability to burn body fat.
Also, tired adrenal glands result in imbalances in other key hormone systems that regulate the burning of body fat. Lower levels of testosterone in men, for example, are seen with adrenal fatigue and lower levels of progesterone in women.
H Pylori & Weight Gain Explanation #2.
It is known that H Pylori actually causes a reduction in the amount of stomach acid being produced. This is because it damages cells called parietal cells, which produce the acid.
If there is not enough acid, food may not be broken down and absorbed. This causes inefficient metabolism, which can lead to weight gain.
I know of several cases where people took digestive enzyme and hydrochloric acid supplements and lost weight very quickly. The weight came back on as soon as they stopped the supplements and then went away again when they resumed.
H Pylori & Weight Gain Explanation #3.
Science is beginning to suggest that H Pylori infection may play a role in thyroid problems. It is believed that antibodies made against H Pylori may also attack the surface of the thyroid gland, thereby causing its function to slow down.
It is well known that the thyroid gland is essential for keeping metabolism optimised. Low thyroid has long been associated with weight gain and the ability to lose weight.
The problems associated with H Pylori seem to increase annually as more and more research is conducted on this unwanted intruder.
If you do have weight management problems, perhaps it would be a good idea to check out how to get tested for H Pylori (along with other digestive infections) as it may be a missing link in the jigsaw puzzle.