H pylori (Helicobacter pylori) is a type of bacteria that can infect the lining of the stomach. This bacteria is a common cause of gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining), peptic ulcers, and even stomach cancer. H. pylori infections are usually acquired during childhood and are often asymptomatic, meaning that many people infected with the bacteria don’t experience any symptoms. However, in some cases, H. pylori infections can cause symptoms such as heartburn, nausea, bloating, and abdominal pain. Treatment for H. pylori typically involves a combination of antibiotics and acid-reducing medications.
How to test for H pylori ?
There are several ways to test for H. pylori, including:
- Blood test: This test looks for antibodies to H. pylori in your blood, indicating that you have been infected.
- Stool antigen test: This test looks for H. pylori antigens in your stool, indicating that the bacteria is present in your digestive system.
- Urea breath test: This test involves drinking a liquid containing a special type of urea that is broken down by H. pylori. If you have H. pylori in your stomach, the bacteria will break down the urea and produce carbon dioxide. This can be detected by breathing into a machine, which measures the amount of carbon dioxide in your breath.
- Endoscopic biopsy: During an endoscopy, a small sample of tissue is taken from the lining of your stomach to test for the presence of H. pylori.
Your doctor may recommend one or more of these tests to diagnose H. pylori, and will help determine the best test or combination of tests for you based on your individual medical history and symptoms.