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bacteria (antibodies are proteins produced naturally in your blood and help to fight infection); this has now largely been replaced by the stool antigen test ($150 paid for initial consult, $100 for a follow up after the test; A separate fee $195 for the lab; We generally do not recommend this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.