How an H. pylori breath test from your gastroenterologist can determine if you have an H. pylori infection
Helicobacter pylori, more commonly known as H. pylori is a bacteria which can cause an infection in your stomach or your small intestine. The H. pylori breath test is used to determine if you have an H. pylori infection. Dr. Myron D. Goldberg in New York, New York offers a wide range of gastrointestinal services, including the H. pylori breath test.
The results of an H. pylori infection can be severe. It can lead to inflammation of the stomach lining, a condition known as gastritis. An H. pylori infection can also cause a duodenal or gastric ulcer, and it is also a risk factor for developing gastric cancer. Testing for an H. pylori infection is an important first step in diagnosing and treating ulcers and other GI problems.
During the H. pylori breath test, you will be asked to breathe into a bag resembling a balloon. The air sample you provide will be used to compare with another breath test. For the second sample, you will drink a small amount of lemon-flavored liquid. 15 minutes after drinking the liquid, you will breathe into a bag again. This second sample will be tested for an increased amount of carbon dioxide. Increased levels of carbon dioxide could indicate a possible infection of H. pylori bacteria.
Before your test, make sure you don’t take any antibiotics or Pepto-Bismol at least 4 weeks before your breath test. In addition, don’t take Prilosec, Prevacid, or any other prescription or over-the-counter proton pump inhibitor medications.
The H. pylori breath test is a non-invasive way to determine whether you have an H. pylori infection. The presence of H. pylori can lead to gastric and intestinal ulcers and other GI problems. Testing for H. pylori is the first line of defense against more serious stomach and intestinal issues.