H. Pylori Breath Test

H. Pylori Overview

Helicobacter pylori (or H. pylori), a common, persistent infection, can live in the stomach for many years. The infection affects two-thirds of the world’s population and is a major cause of peptic ulcer disease. Its presence also increases your risk of gastritis and stomach cancer.

The H. pylori breath test is a quick and simple test to test for this infection. During an office exam, you will be asked to provide a baseline breath sample, then drink a Pranactin®-Citric drug solution, which will help detect signs of H. pylori infection. After waiting 15 minutes, we will have you provide a second breath sample.

How Does This Affect You?

When the bacteria lodge in the stomach lining, they start to produce substances that thin and weaken the protective mucus. This allows gastric acid to reach the stomach’s wall and cause damage. Ulcers can develop in the exposed lining as a result.

H. pylori can also attach to the stomach’s cells. This sometimes results in issues like stomach inflammation (gastritis) or excess acid production.

Symptoms of H. pylori infection include:

  • Burning
  • Bloating
  • Belching
  • Upper abdominal pain
  • Gnawing pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Gas
  • Bad breath
  • Vomiting

The National Cancer Institute says clinical studies have also linked H. pylori infection with an increased risk of developing certain stomach cancers.

Are you experiencing these symptoms? There is a convenient way to test for this condition and help get you on the path to proper treatment.

Hattiesburg Clinic Gastroenterology offers a quick, non-invasive test in our office called the BreathTek® UBT Kit.

How Does The BreathTek Work?

Testing with the BreathTek device is quick and simple:

  1. During an office exam, you will be asked to provide a baseline breath sample.
  2. You will then drink a Pranactin®-Citric drug solution, which will help detect signs of H. pylori infection.
  3. Wait 15 minutes.
  4. Then, we’ll have you provide a second breath sample.

The breath samples will be measured using an in-house diagnostic device called a POCone® Infrared Spectrophotometer. Results are available within a few minutes and the physician will discuss them with you at that time. If you test positive for H. pylori infection, you will be treated with antibiotics and will be asked to return for testing again in four weeks.

Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; BreathTek.com

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