What is the H. pylori breath test?

The H. pylori breath test is a simple and safe test. The test is used to:

  • Detect H. pylori bacteria.
  • Diagnose an active H. pylori infection.
  • Determine if treatment has cured the infection.

This test is also called the urea breath test.

What is H. pylori?

H. pylori (Helicobacter pylori) is a bacteria that infects your stomach or duodenum (first part of the small intestine). H. pylori bacteria can increase your risk of developing:

H. pylori is a major cause of peptic ulcer. The bacteria decreases the stomach’s protective mucus. This makes it easier for the stomach to be damaged from digestive acids.

Who gets H. pylori infections?

H. pylori infections are very common. About 50% of the world’s population is infected. However, most people never have symptoms.

When should I get a H. pylori breath test?

See your healthcare provider if you have pain in your digestive tract or symptoms of a peptic ulcer including:

  • Gnawing or burning pain in your middle or upper stomach between meals or at night.
  • Pain that comes and goes if you eat something or take an antacid.
  • Bloating.
  • Heartburn.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Weight loss.

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