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Test for bacteria in the stomach (C-13 Urea Breath Test)

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Helicobacter pylori bacteria (H. pylori) in the stomach is an important cause of pathology in the stomach and upper colon (duodenum). In addition, H. pylori bacteria is a risk factor for gastric cancer. The test can be done by blowing into a device that looks like a small bag without the need of endoscopy and takes about 20 minutes and the result analysis takes about 30 minutes measuring carbon dioxide (13 Co2) caused by the reaction of H. pylori bacteria that has Urease enzyme into blood stream then expel to the lungs and outside by the breath using the principle of IR Spectrophotometer which is 95-100% accurate

Currently, there are many ways to test for H. pylori which are:

  • Urea test from biopsy obtained from Gastroscopy
  • Histology examination which requires special straining
  • Culture and serology examination which is not currently popular

At present, there is no report of side effects or danger from the test as it is relatively safe method. It can test in children and pregnant women. If you have frequent stomachache and do not test for the bacteria you may be at risk of gastritis, gastric ulcer, duodenal ulcer, gastric cancer in the future.

H. pylori bacterial infection in the stomach is still a major problem in the Thai population. Lifestyle behavior, food consumption, living in crowded environment community area or living with those who have bacteria infection in the stomach but do not show symptoms all is at great risk. H. pylori bacteria cause disease and complications that are dangerous to the body in many ways. When the H. pylori bacteria is detected, you should be treated with antibiotics and repeat test to confirm that you are completely free from infection. This is to prevent the recurrence of gastric ulcer including reduction of the risk of gastric cancer as well.

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