What is Urea Breath Test?

The urea breath test detects Helicobacter Pylori (H. pylori) that is associated with a development of ulcers (peptic ulcer disease), gastritis and a certain gastric cancer.

What is H. Pylori?

Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a type of bacteria. These bacteria can enter your body and live in your digestive tract. It can damage the lining of your stomach, which usually protects you from the acid your stomach produces to digest food. After many years, it may lead to ulcers developing in the lining of your stomach and/or the upper part of your small intestine. It is also a strong risk factor for a certain kind of stomach cancer.

Infection with H. Pylori is common. About two-thirds of the world’s population has this infection. For most people, it does not cause ulcers of other symptoms.

But if you develop problems, and it is detected early, antibiotic treatment can be given to eliminate the bacteria, help heal the ulcers and reduce the risk of more severe diseas.

Picture of a lady doing the Urea Breath Test

Picture of a guy suffering from abdomen pain


Signs that you might have an ulcer include –

  • Bloating
  • Not feeling hungry
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss for no clear reason
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Burping
  • Nausea

Ulcers can bleed into your stomach or intestines, which can be dangerous to your health. Get medical help right away if you have any of these symptoms

  • Passing bloody, dark red or black colored stools.
  • Trouble breathing
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Feeling very tired for no reason
  • Pale skin color
  • Vomitus that contains blood or looks like coffee grounds
  • Severe, sharp stomach pain

Is this test safe?

This test should only be given to pregnant, possibly pregnany or lactating women only if the anticipated diagnostic benefit is thought to outweigh any potential risk. If you are pregnant or think you might be pregnant, please consult with our doctor prior to taking the test. The safety of this test has not been established for pediatric use. This test does not contain any radioactive substances.

How is the Urea Breath Test performed?

This test requires you to fast for at least 6 hours. A pre-dose sample of exhaled breath is collected. You will be asked to swallow one UBIT Table (containing 100mg of 13C-Urea) promptly with 100ml of water without crushing or chewing the tablet. The table must not be allowed to disintegrate in your mouth. You will be required to lie down on your left side for 5 minutes then return to a sitting position. A post dose collection of your exhaled breath will be taken 20 minutes after administration of the tablet. The pre and post dose exhaled breath samples will then be sent to the laboratory for tasting.

An illustration on how to collect breath for the Urea Breath Test

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