As most of you are aware, it’s been one thing after another with Mr. Ivriniel’s health over the past year. He’s had three skin infections in his leg, mysterious bleeding, been diagnosed as pre diabetic, and has had to see a liver specialist.
The liver specialist was concerned that some of his test results indicated that he might have an autoimmune disease attacking his liver, so ordered a liver biopsy. He also ordered an endoscopy to check his esophagus for varicose veins, because apparently liver disease can cause these in the esophagus, and if they start to bleed it can be deadly. They didn’t find any of those.
However, during the endoscopy they said his stomach was really full of food, despite the fact that that Mr. I hadn’t eaten for 15 hours when the scope was done. So next up, is a test to see how his stomach is digesting. He will have to drink some barium so they can watch it pass through his system.
Then on Monday, his GI doctor’s office called, and said that his liver biopsy turned up an infection in his liver. Apparently the bacteria is Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria that causes ulcers and it is a bit unusual to find it in the liver. From what I have read online, H pylori infections in the stomach can slow digestion, so maybe this accounts for his endoscopy results.
The standard treatment for H pylori when it causes ulcers (the bacteria is found in about 50% of the population, and only sometimes causes disease) is 2 antibiotics and a protein pump inhibitor (reduces stomach acid). Mr. I has been put on all that, plus an additional antibiotic, which is apparently is usually used as a substitution for amoxicillin in the standard treatment, if the patient is allergic to amoxicillin. Mr. I is getting it in addition to the amoxicillin. As he put it, the treatment approach seems to be “Nuke it from orbit, it’s the only way to be sure!”
Once he is done his course of antibiotics, then he has to go for a breath test, to see if it is gone. Apparently H pylori generates ammonia to change the pH balance of the stomach to make it more hospitable, and this can be detected in the breath.
This is his sixth course of antibiotics in a year (3 skin infections, a UTI, strep throat and now this) Hopefully this is the last for a long while.