Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), the most common cause of stomach ulcers, is a type of bacteria responsible for widespread infection with more than 50% of the world's population infected, even though most of those infected have no symptoms. H. pylori infection is associated with low grade inflammation of the stomach and duodenum (the first part of the small intestine that empties the stomach). These particular bacteria have evolved to survive in the acidic environment of the stomach where enzymes digest food. H. pylori is the causative agent of chronic gastritis and peptic ulcer diseases and is an important risk factor for the development of gastric cancer and mucosal-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma.
For those people with symptoms, an inflamed stomach and ulcers are the results of an H. pylori infection. These are characterized by:
• Upper abdominal pain
• Loss of appetite/desire to eat
• Nausea and vomiting
• If severe enough, bleeding into the gastrointestinal tract
Abdominal pain is usually described as a burning sensation in the central upper abdomen below the ribs. It may be associated with bloating, burping, and loss of appetite. Often the symptoms occur after eating, and many times patients waken in the early morning hours with abdominal pain. The American College of Gastroenterology has developed guidelines for the treatment of H. pylori infection.
Urea breath testing for H. pylori is a clinically accepted, non-invasive, non-endoscopic test that identifies the presence of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria, a common cause of digestive illness. We use a state-of-the-art liquid scintillation counter and research based protocols to assist providers in diagnosing H. pylori. During the urea breath test, you swallow a substance containing urea with tagged carbon molecules. If you have an H. pylori infection, carbon is released when the solution is broken down in your stomach.
The urea breath test to identify the presence or absence of active H. pylori bacteria is very simple. Following a period of fasting, the patient ingests urea that contains tagged urea carbon molecules. If gastric urease from H. pylori is present, urea is split to form carbon dioxide and ammonia. The patient provides a breath sample by exhaling into a balloon-like bag. The bag is then mailed to our laboratory in the postage-paid box. Our H. pylori breath test can be administered in-office or in the comfort of the patient’s own home.
The implementation of breath testing has been a major improvement in patient care for our practice. Bloating is an extremely common and frustrating complaint from patients that we can now provide an answer for in many cases.
It can be challenging to diagnose IBS-D and malabsorption in busy clinical practice. Having an objective marker to diagnose and reassure the patient and provider is a great asset in my practice. It also help me to manage the condition by using appropriate treatment.
It can be challenging to diagnose malabsorption syndromes in clinical practice. Having an objective marker like a breath test can provide diagnostic reassurance to both the patient and provider.
Breath testing for SIBO has been hugely beneficial for my practice over the last 3 years. It allows me to help patients who have seen multiple doctors without finding the cause of their problems, and who continue to struggle with digestive dysfunction.
My preferred treatment for SIBO is changing patient's diet. I get a lot greater compliance, when I can show them the results of their breath test. Rarely have to use antibiotics, if I can get them to change what they eat.
Patients enjoy the flexibility to do the test on their own time and the instruction booklet and video are easy to follow. From a provider standpoint, we get results back in a timely manner and getting both hydrogen and methane results helps us tailor care appropriately.
Breath test is a simple and noninvasive way to diagnosed these clinical conditions. The Kits from Commonwealth Diagnostics are shipped to the patient and is very easy to use at home without going to medical office or hospital.
CDI has provided an invaluable test that I use both pre and post treatment (antibiotics and a diagnosis-specific nutrition protocol), and this has enabled my patients to find both answers and an action plan to resolve their long term symptoms.
No struggles with insurance companies to cover the cost of medications. The kits from Commonwealth Diagnostics are convenient. I don't have to delegate office staff to run the tests, and we just hand them the kits. It couldn't be easier.