The urea breath test is used to detect Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), a type of bacteria that may infect the stomach and is a main cause of ulcers in both the stomach and duodenum (the first part of the small intestine).
H. pylori produces an enzyme called urease, which breaks urea down into ammonia and carbon dioxide. During the test, a tablet containing urea (a chemical made of nitrogen and a minimally radioactive carbon) is swallowed and the amount of exhaled carbon dioxide is measured. This indicates the presence of H. pylori in the stomach.
Bowel incontinence is the inability to control bowel movements. It's a common problem, especially among older adults.
Bowel incontinence is usually not a serious medical problem. But it can seriously interfere with daily life. People with bowel incontinence may avoid social activities for fear of embarrassment.
Many effective treatments can help people with bowel incontinence. These include:
minimally invasive procedures
Talking to your doctor is the first step toward...
To prepare for the urea breath test, follow these guidelines:
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, have a lung or heart condition or any other disease, or if you are allergic to any medications.
Do not take any antibiotics, proton pump inhibitors (Prilosec, Prevacid, Aciphex, Nexium, Protonix), or Pepto-Bismol for two weeks before the test.
Take only the medications approved by your doctor the day of the procedure. Take them only with a small sip of water if it is within four hours of the procedure. Do not discontinue any medication without first consulting with your primary or referring doctor.
Do not eat or drink anything (including water) for four hours before the procedure.
What Happens During the Urea Breath Test?
During the urea breath test:
A health care provider will explain the procedure, which lasts about 40 to 60 minutes, and answer any questions you may have.
Breath samples will be taken.
What Happens After the Urea Breath Test?
After the urea breath test:
Your breath samples are sent to a lab where they are tested.
You may resume your normal activities.
You may resume your normal diet, unless you are scheduled for other tests that require dietary restrictions.
When Will I Find Out the Results of the Urea Breath Test?
Urea breath test results are usually available two days after the test is completed.