HELICOBACTER PYLORI BREATH Test, UREA BREATH TEST, H.PYLORI
What are the other names for this test?
H.Pylori, Helicobacter pylori, H.pylori breath test
What is a Urea Breath Test?
A urea breath test helps look at your breath for Helicobacter pylori (H.pylori), a common infection. The H.pylori breath test is a simple method to identify H.pylori bacteria and infection. H.pylori is a general bacteria that cause damage to your stomach or duodenum (the first part of the small intestines). H.pylori bacteria often develop in childhood and can remain in the stomach for a long time if not get treatment. A big reason for H.pylori infection is due to peptic ulcer disease. A peptic ulcer in the stomach is known as a gastric ulcer. It is a form of sores that develops on the lining of your stomach and small intestine. This lining of the stomach helps to prevent the stomach from the strong stomach acid, which digests food. The signs and symptoms of H.pylori infection do not appear as it mostly lives in your stomach lining. In some people, the H.pylori infection leads to stomach cancer and gastritis (inflamed lining of your stomach).
What is the purpose of the H.pylori breath test?
An H.pylori breath test determines the presence of H.pylori bacteria in your stomach. An H.pylori bacteria lives in your stomach and produces an enzyme called urease that forms urea. Urease helps to convert urea into ammonia and carbon dioxide. A urea breath test measures the traces of carbon dioxide in your breath to find the presence of H.pylori bacteria in your stomach. This test may also suggest for adults and children aged above six years if they can coordinate with the test. An H.pylori breath test helps your doctor to:
- Diagnose the ulcer in your stomach or upper small intestine.
- Observe an ulcer if you have experienced it in the past and didn’t take this test before.
- Monitors the effectiveness of the treatment if a person has experienced H.pylori infection.
When to conduct this test?
Your healthcare provider may recommend the H.pylori breath test if you are giving treatment for an H.pylori infection. In general, about 50 % of people had infected with H.pylori bacteria throughout the world. Symptoms of the bacteria do not show up in most people. An H.pylori infection leads to problems in the stomach. Therefore, if you experience any pain in your digestive system, you may need to take this test. You may also place an online order for a urea breath test if you see symptoms of peptic ulcer (a form of sores that develops on the lining of your stomach and small intestine).
The following are the symptoms of peptic ulcer that include:
- Feeling pain when you eat something or use an antacid.
- A condition of burning in your middle or upper stomach during meals or at night.
- Nausea and vomiting
- Weight Loss
- Burning or inflammation in the heart.
What is the procedure for the H.pylori breath test?
In a urea breath test, your provider will first discuss the procedure with you, which may take about 40 to 60 minutes. You will guide about the following steps to take your breath sample.
- You will first exhale into a balloon-like bag to measure your first sample for carbon dioxide.
- For a second sample, you will need to chew up a tablet or capsule containing urea.
- After 15 to 20 minutes, you will again need to exhale that tablet into a bag similar to a balloon. The amount of carbon dioxide will measure with an instrument or device for a second time.
- The carbon dioxide will release when you take a breath in a bag because your body can absorb it. Your breath samples will go to the laboratory for examination.
- You can go home for regular activities.
- You can take your regular diet or medicines if you take them.
How do I get ready for this test?
You have to follow these steps for the urea breath test:
- Avoid eating or drinking at least 4 to 6 hours before your test.
- Stop the use of antibiotics at least four weeks before the test.
- If you are pregnant, have heart or lung problems, or any other disease, talk with your provider.
- Inform your doctor if you have an allergy to any medications.
- Avoid the intake of gum on the day of your test.
- With approval from your doctor, you can take medicine on the day of the test.
- Do not use the following medications at least 2 to 4 weeks before your test.
- Proton pump inhibitors (Aciphex, Nexium, Prevacid, Prilosec, etc.)
- Bismuth subsalicylate
- Histamine blockers
What are the risks of the H.pylori breath test?
This test does not have any risk.
What do the test results indicate?
The urea breath test results depend on age, gender, medical history, and other factors. An H.pylori breath test can measure H.pylori bacteria by noticing the difference between the first and second samples of carbon dioxide levels. If you want to get more information about your test results with more details, you can book an online talk with a doctor.
The positive test results indicate higher carbon dioxide levels in your second sample compared to the first sample. It shows that an H.pylori infection lies in your stomach.
The negative test results show no difference between the first and second samples of your carbon dioxide. It indicates that there is no H.pylori infection in your stomach.
What are the factors that may change the H.pylori breath test results?
You may receive an inaccurate or false-negative result if you perform this test earlier after treatment. It shows that H.pylori bacteria are present in your stomach, but in reality, they are not. The use of specific medications may also affect the test results. You may need to repeat this test at least four weeks after treatment for H.pylori bacteria to receive accurate results.
What additional tests do I need to take along with the urea breath test?
You may also need the following additional tests with the H.pylori breath test.
● Blood tests
● Stool sample
● Endoscopy - A test in which a thin and lighted tube injects into your stomach by your mouth. This test looks at the lining of your stomach and collects small samples for examination.
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