Indigestion? Check for Helicobacter

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H Pylori Stool Test

Helicobacter infection now?

Abdominal painDo you have a gnawing upper abdominal pain? This is the cardinal symptom of Helicobacter gastritis. You might describe it as stomach ache or indigestion. The bacteria in the stomach pass through into the faeces and it is very easy to test the stool for their presence. We provide a small sample pot and you post it back to us for testing. Very soon you will know if you do or do not have a Helicobacter infection. The test will detect up to 96% of active infections. Do not use a blood test because they are not reliable. More details about the test

Infection has come back after treatment?

If you have had a course of treatment for Helicobacter you should carry out a 'test of eradication.' You can test for cure or relapse no less than 4 weeks after your course of treatment has finished. Tests carried out sooner than this may not be reliable. If your test for cure is negative then there is only a 4% chance that the test is falsely negative.

Helicobacter and stomach cancer

Many people have Helicobacter in their stomach but have no symptoms at all. The main concern in this situation is the long term risk of stomach cancer. Without testing for Helicobacter you would not know that it is there. A Helicobacter test periodically will put your mind at rest or if the test is positive allow the bacteria to be treated by a course of antibiotics. There is no routine screening for Helicobacter by the NHS.

Read how Helicobacter treatment can prevent stomach cancer


Checklist: Before you buy

Check 1Check your medications against this list

  • no antibiotics for 4 weeks
  • no PPIs (Omeprazole or related drugs for 2 weeks)
    Yes You can take these medications without affecting the test
  • Ranitidine (Zantac), Cimetidine (Tagamet), antacids, Pepto-Bismol, Barium sulphate
    Unknown There are many substances that may suppress Helicobacter that could theoretically affect the test but there is little scientific data to give firm advice
  • These include Manuka honey, matula tea, broccoli sprouts
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