H. Pylori Breath Test

Procedure Questions

What is the H. Pylori Breath Test?

It’s a procedure that searches for the existence of H. Pylori bacteria in the stomach or small intestine.

Procedure Bullet Points

The H. Pylori Breath Test:

  • Is well-tolerated
  • Takes 40-60 minutes

Your doctor will measure a baseline breath sample. Then you will be given a solution containing urea to drink and another breath sample will be taken in a few minutes.

If H. Pylori are present, the urea will be converted to CO2 and that will show up in your breath test.

If left undiagnosed and untreated, H. Pylori can potentially cause:

  • Stomach ulcers
  • Severe stomach inflammation
  • Gastric cancer

Your doctor will give you instructions to prepare for the procedure. Most likely, you will be asked to fast for at least 6 hours beforehand to ensure an empty stomach.


It’s important to inform your doctor of:

  • Any medication that you take regularly, especially;
    • Proton pump inhibitors
    • H2 blockers
    • Bismuth preparations
  • Any known allergies to medication
  • Any medical conditions that will require special attention, such as;
    • diabetes
    • heart conditions
    • lung conditions
    • any other major conditions


It’s important to follow all of your doctor’s instructions.

Your doctor will explain everything to you, then a base sample will be taken. After that you will ingest the urea solution and take a breath sample a few minutes later. The test may take up to 1 hour.


Your breath samples will be sent to a lab to be tested.

You may resume:

  • your normal activities
  • your normal diet, unless otherwise advised
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