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Q. I have suffered from frequent bellyaches, gas and fatigue for years. I chalked these symptoms up to stress, but when my poop started to float, I wondered if I needed a gluten-free diet. Getting off gluten helped, but not entirely.

When I went to my doctor, she tested me for everything under the sun. She found I was infected with a germ called H. pylori. After taking pricey antibiotics plus probiotics, my stools no longer float. The smelly gas is gone, and I feel so much better.

A. H. pylori infection doesn’t always cause symptoms, but it can result in abdominal pain, bloating, nausea or vomiting and burping. This bacterial infection also can cause stomach ulcers.

Antibiotic treatment can sometimes upset the microbial ecology of the intestines and may cause symptoms on its own. That’s why probiotics were a smart addition to your regimen.For more information about overcoming gas, celiac disease and H. pylori, we offer our Guide to Digestive Disorders. Anyone who would like a copy, please send $3 in check or money order with a long (No. 10), stamped (66 cents), self-addressed envelope to: Graedons’ People’s Pharmacy, No. G-3, P.O. Box 52027, Durham, NC 27717-2027. It also can be downloaded for $2 from our website: www.peoplespharmacy.com.

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Q. Does vinegar help in reducing cholesterol? I’ve read that 1 tablespoon in a glass of water daily might help.

A. There are no clinical trials of this remedy. There is some data to suggest that vinegar can help lower blood sugar after a carbohydrate-containing meal (European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, July 2010).