A patient wanted to know what options are available for diagnosing H Pylori and estimates for treatment. Hence this post.
If your provider thinks your symptoms may be caused by an H. pylori infection, they may recommend one of the following tests:
a urea breath test – you'll be given a special drink containing a chemical that's broken down by H. pylori; your breath is then analysed to see whether or not you have an H. pylori infection ($150 paid for initial consult, $100 for a follow up after the test; $10 for administration to be paid to New Horizons; A separate fee $195 for the lab which takes four days to provide result - So initial diagnosis and treatment will cost you $250 as our fees and $195 as lab fees; You may also repeat the test in one month after treatment to confirm cure)
a stool antigen test – a small stool sample is tested for the bacteria ($150 paid for initial consult, $100 for a follow up after the test; A separate fee $195 for the lab; We generally do not recommend this )
a blood test – a sample of your blood is tested for antibodies to the H. pylori bacteria (antibodies are proteins produced naturally in your blood and help to fight infection); this has now largely been replaced by the stool antigen test ($150 paid for initial consult, $100 for a follow up after the test; A separate fee $195 for the lab; We generally do not recommend this - It is is less accurate to diagnose acute presentations )
If you test positive for H. pylori, you'll need treatment to clear the infection, which can heal the ulcer and prevent it returning.
When to get this test done?
When you have acid reflux, signs of ulcer or frequent heartburn, discuss with your provider if they want to rule out H Pylori infection.
What happens if the test is positive?
If the test is positive, you will be put on a combination of medicines and you must take these medication for a month.
What happens after a month?
You must come back again for a follow up test to confirm that infection has cleared up. This follow up is charged at $100.
How to avoid H Pylori infections?
Eat at home as much as possible. If you have to eat at restaurants, choose hot entrees over cold ones, drink water from your own water bottle.
Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) passed on through vaginal, anal and oral sex. Treatment from us can help. Symptoms clear up on their own but can come back.
See us in the clinic as soon as possible if you have:
small blisters that burst to leave red, open sores around your genitals, anus, thighs or bottom
tingling, burning or itching around your genitals
pain when you pee
in women, vaginal discharge that's not usual for you
These can be symptoms of genital herpes.
Come to the clinic even if you have not had sex for a long time, as blisters can take months or years to appear.
What happens when you come to visit us
The doctor or nurse at the clinic will:
ask about your symptoms and your sexual partners
use a small cotton bud (swab) to take some fluid from 1 of your blisters or sores for testing
The test cannot:
be done if you do not have visible blisters or sores
tell you how long you have had herpes or who you got it from
Please note that swab taking can be painful. Please do not do Google review saying it was painful. We already know that.
Symptoms might not appear for weeks or even years after you're infected with the herpes virus.
If you have genital herpes, your previous sexual partners should get tested.
The doctor or nurse at the clinic can discuss this with you and help you tell your partners without letting them know it's you who has the virus.
There's no cure. Symptoms clear up by themselves, but the blisters can come back (an outbreak or recurrence).
Treatment from our clinic can help.
When you are tested positive for the first time
You may be prescribed:
antiviral medicine to stop the symptoms getting worse – you need to start taking this within 5 days of the symptoms appearing
cream for the pain
If you have had symptoms for more than 5 days before you come to our clinic, you can still get tested to find out the cause. But blood test may not be accurate.
Treatment if the blisters come back
Come to our clinic if you have been diagnosed with genital herpes and need treatment for an outbreak.
Antiviral medicine may help shorten an outbreak by 1 or 2 days if you start taking it as soon as symptoms appear.
But outbreaks usually settle by themselves, so you may not need treatment.
Recurrent outbreaks are usually milder than the first episode of genital herpes.
Over time, outbreaks tend to happen less often and be less severe. Some people never have outbreaks.
Some people who have more than 6 outbreaks in a year may benefit from taking antiviral medicine for 6 to 12 months.
If you still have outbreaks of genital herpes during this time, you may be referred to a specialist.
keep the area clean using plain or salt water to prevent blisters becoming infected
apply an ice pack wrapped in a flannel to soothe pain
apply petroleum jelly (such as Vaseline) or painkilling cream (such as 5% lidocaine) to reduce pain when you pee
wash your hands before and after applying cream or jelly
pee while pouring water over your genitals to ease the pain
do not wear tight clothing that may irritate blisters or sores
do not put ice directly on the skin
do not touch your blisters or sores unless you're applying cream
do not have vaginal, anal or oral sex until the sores have gone away
We realized that local lab results are not accurate in detecting HSV virus. So we use PCR technology from a Phoenix based lab to get conclusive evidence. The turn around time for this test is three business days. The PCR test for men's health also check many other organisms. So our patients get conclusive answers if they are suspecting any infection.
We also test the patient who are presenting with herpes symptoms for HIV. Herpes infection can cause sores or breaks in the skin or lining of the mouth, vagina, and rectum. This provides a way for HIV to enter the body. Even without visible sores, having genital herpes increases the number of CD4 cells (the cells that HIV targets for entry into the body) found in the lining of the genitals. Because Herpes with HIV is much more serious and need additional treatment. So whenever we suspect HSV, we also proactively test for HIV to rule out any additional complications.
Prevention of further breakouts when you are already infected.
Once you have the virus, it stays in your body.
It will not spread in your body to cause blisters elsewhere. It stays in a nearby nerve and causes blisters in the same area.
If you can, avoid things that trigger your symptoms.
Triggers can include:
ultraviolet light – for example, from sunbeds
friction in your genital area – for example, from sex (lubricant may help) or tight clothing
Some triggers are unavoidable, including:
having a period
surgery on your genital area
a weakened immune system – for example, from having chemotherapy for cancer