H. pylori urease breaks down urea into CO2 and ammonia, that neutralize stomach acid and promote its colonization. CO2 enters the bloodstream and travels to the lungs, which release it in exhalations. The test measures a person’s CO2 in their breath before and after ingesting a substance containing urea.

How to Prepare for Accurate Results:

  • Fasting Period:

To ensure the accuracy of the test, it’s crucial to fast for at least 2 hours before the procedure. During this time, refrain from eating, smoking, or drinking any fluids.

  • Light Meal Before Fasting:

The last meal before fasting should consist of only light items such as tea, soup, or toast. Avoid heavy meals to prevent potential interference with the test results.

  • Medication Restrictions:

Certain medications can affect the accuracy of the Helicobacter pylori breath test. Follow these guidelines to prepare appropriately:

a. Antibiotics: Discontinue the use of antibiotics for at least 4 weeks before the test.

b. Acid-reducing medications (PPI, anti H2): Avoid using these medications for 2 weeks before the test.

c. Bismuth preparations: Cease use for 2 weeks prior to the test.

  • Approved Medications on Test Day:

If you take medications prescribed by your doctor, you may take them on the day of the test. However, only consume them with a small sip of water at least 2 hours before the procedure.

Sampling Instructions:

The Helicobacter pylori breath test is non-invasive and typically takes about 30 minutes. Follow these steps to ensure accurate sampling:

  • Pre-test Breathing:

Before ingesting the urea-containing substance, you will be asked to blow into a balloon-like bag. Take a deep breath, hold it for 10 seconds, and then exhale slowly into the bag until it is full of gas. Seal the bag tightly, and this will be the first breath sample (T0).

  • Urea Ingestion:

Consume urea granules (80-100ml) with cold water as instructed.

  • Waiting Period:

Sit quietly and still in the waiting room for the next 30 minutes. Refrain from talking or moving to another place during this time.

  • Post-test Breathing:

After 30 minutes, a nurse will call you to collect the second breath sample (T30). Repeat the same procedure as before by blowing into the second balloon-like bag.

The Helicobacter pylori breath test is a simple and non-invasive procedure that can provide essential information about the presence of an H. pylori infection. By following the preparation guidelines and sampling instructions, you can ensure accurate results. Remember that failure to adhere to the instructions may impact the reliability of the test outcomes. Thank you for your cooperation in making this test a success and taking a step towards better digestive health.