Helicobacter pylori breath test

What’s the test for?

The Helicobacter pylori breath test is used to detect the presence of a species of gut bacteria called Helicobacter pylori.

H. pylori is a bacteria that can live in your stomach and this breath test is a simple way to determine whether or not you have an infection. The Helicobacter pylori breath test is important as the bacteria can cause ulcers in the lining of your stomach and intestines, which may result in abdominal pain, nausea, bloating or unintentional weight loss.

About the procedure

You will be asked to provide two initial breath samples by blowing into two foil bags. This will give us your baseline reading to compare against the other data we collect.

You will then be given a capsule containing C13-urea to swallow with water. Breath test samples will then be collected, two after 10 minutes and two more after 30 minutes. This will then be analysed to see whether or not you have an H. pylori infection.

It is important that you do not eat, chew gum, smoke, sleep, drink or exercise during your test.

If you are paying for this test yourself and not through private medical insurance, the cost will be £210.

How to prepare

There is some preparation required before your arrival at the clinic. This preparation involves stopping certain medication and fasting. Please see our patient information leaflet for full details.

What can be learned

This breath test can detect the presence of H. pylori. A small amount of the substance, C13– urea, is ingested and mixed with orange juice. During the test, the C13-urea is broken down by H. pylori; if an infection is present, the chemical will be detectable in breath.

Following your test, your data will be analysed and results written up into a report. The report will be sent to both you and your referring consultant/doctor, who will explain the results to you in a follow-up consultation along with the next step in treatment.

Information leaflet
Information leaflet

Find more information about this test using our PDF download.

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Without exception, every staff member was friendly, helpful and patient with me. I was nervous about the procedure. A big thank you to you all. I will make a point to spread the word about how good your company is.

Manchester Patient