H. Pylori Breath Test
About the H. Pylori Breath Test
Heliobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a bacteria which lives only in the lining of the stomach and is one of the most common chronic infections in humans. H. Pylori is associated with most stomach ulcers and most all duodenal ulcers. The H. Pylori Breath Test is used to detect the bacteria.
The procedure begins with the PYtest capsule, which contains sugar beads coated with small amounts of a chemical called urea. Urea is naturally found in the human body and the amount in the capsule is much smaller than the head of a pin. Once the capsule is swallowed, it takes about three minutes to dissolve in the stomach. When the urea comes into contact with the H. pylori, it is immediately broken down into carbon dioxide and ammonia. The carbon dioxide enters the bloodstream and is exhaled. Ten minutes after ingesting the capsule, a breath sample is collected in a balloon.
The test takes approximately 15 minutes.
Before Your Appointment
- Do not drink for six (6) hours prior to the breath test. Nothing by mouth.
- Do not take any antibiotics for 30 days prior to the breath test.
- Do not take Pepto Bismol or Bismuth for 30 days prior to the breath test.
- If your physician has given you a proton pump inhibitor (PPI), or any medication on the list below, do not take it for two weeks prior to your breath test:
- Carafate (Sucralfate)
- Prevacid (Lansoprazole)
- Prilosec (Omeprazole)
- Protonix (Pantoprazole)
- Use of Tums, Tagamet, Zantac, Axid or Pepsid is acceptable up to 24 hours prior to your test.
After Your Appointment
You can resume all normal activities and eat immediately after the test. Results should be available within a few days of completing the test or sooner, if analysis is done where your test was performed.
Although radiation is extremely small, the test has not been sufficiently tested in children or pregnant women. If there is a possibility that you may be pregnant, you may choose not to have this test.