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H. pylori tests are used to check for a Helicobacter pylori infection in the stomach and upper part of the small intestine. H. pylori is a type of bacteria that can cause peptic ulcers. But most people who have it in their digestive systems don't get ulcers.
Several tests may be used to check for an H. pylori infection:
This test checks your child's breath to see if your child has H. pylori bacteria in the stomach.
This test looks for substances in your child's stool that trigger the immune system to fight an H. pylori infection. (These substances are called H. pylori antigens.)
A small sample (biopsy) is taken from the lining of your child's stomach and small intestine. The samples are checked for H. pylori.
H. pylori tests are done to:
Medicines your child takes may change the results of these tests. Be sure to tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medicines your child takes. Your doctor may ask you to stop giving some of your child's medicines.
You will be asked to not give your child anything to eat or drink for a certain amount of time before the breath test or stomach biopsy. Follow the doctor's instructions about how long your child needs to avoid eating and drinking before the test. If your child will have a stomach biopsy, your doctor will tell you how to prepare for it.
A breath sample is collected when your child blows into a balloon or blows bubbles into a bottle of liquid. The doctor or nurse will:
For this test, you may be asked to collect your child's stool sample at home. To collect the sample, you need to:
A procedure called endoscopy is used to collect samples of tissue from the stomach and the first part of the small intestine. The tissue samples are tested in a lab to see if they contain H. pylori.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if your child is having problems. Ask your doctor when you can expect to have your child's test results.
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Adaptation Date: 3/2/2022
Adapted By: Alberta Health Services
Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services
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