Aching Stomach

H Pylori

  • Blood test. Analysis of a blood sample may reveal evidence of an active or previous H. pylori infection in your body. However, breath and stool tests are better at detecting active H. pylori infections than is a blood test.

  • Breath test. During a breath test, you swallow a pill, liquid or pudding that contains tagged carbon molecules. If you have an H. pylori infection, carbon is released when the solution is broken down in your stomach.

    Your body absorbs the carbon and expels it when you exhale. You exhale into a bag, and your doctor uses a special device to detect the carbon molecules.

  • Stool test. A laboratory test called a stool antigen test looks for foreign proteins (antigens) associated with H. pylori infection in your stool. As with the breath test, PPIs and bismuth subsalicylate can affect the results of this test, so your doctor will ask you to stop taking them for two weeks before the test.

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