Know About Urea Breath Test
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Urea breath test is a diagnostic procedure which is done to identify the existence of a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori in the stomach. This is a spiral bacterium which is involved in the diseases like peptic ulcer, gastritis and gastric ulcer. This kind of bacteria can convert urea into ammonia and this quality is used in this test. Let us see how it works. The Helicobacter Pylori or H pylori bacteria, as it is commonly known, can break down the bond existing between urea and a tail of carbon dioxide attached to it. And the carbon dioxide released from this reaction remains in the breath in measured concentration. This is a non-invasive diagnostic test undertaken both before and after the treatment. In this test, urea capsule is given to the patient to swallow. The capsule contains isotope carbon composition of either radioactive type which is carbon 14 or non-radioactive type which is carbon 13. After ten minutes to half an hour, a breath test detects if the urea has been split or not. If yes, it means that there is urease enzyme used by H pylori for metabolizing urea in the stomach. This marks the presence of bacteria. There are two ways of this breath test. In first way, a very small dose of urea is administered through the capsule. This capsule is marked with the carbon of radioactive type. In another test method, urea dose is comparatively larger while non radioactive carbon type or carbon 13 is used. After successful diagnosis, treatment starts. Antibiotics are prescribed to the H Pylori positive patients. These antibiotics depress the bacteria and the acid level in the stomach is also lowered. Upon completion of the medicine course, same test is repeated. If the infection is still there, positive result will be generated. In absence of anymore infection, result will be negative. There should be a gap of minimum twenty eight days between the completion of antibiotics and the repeat test. This is a safe test procedure and there is no known risk of undergoing the breath test. However, urea breath test is not recommended for pregnant women especially the radioactive isotope of carbon is not recommended for them. There are other ways of detecting the presence of H Pylori bacterium in the stomach of a pregnant woman. Blood antibody test or stool antigen test can be done if a pregnant lady is suspected for this bacterial infection. Article by Jenny at Inter-Dev SEO Company.