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Forum Name: Gastroenterology Topics

Question: The right test for Helicobacter pylori


 Kohala - Fri Oct 16, 2009 11:02 pm

Hi, I'm a 38-yr old male. For six months now, I've had a burning feeling in my throat, sometimes with a headache to go with it. I was referred to see an ENT four months ago. She diagnosed acid reflux and she saw that my vocal cord was a little irritated. So, since my ENT visit in June, I've been on a diet recommended by the doctor. I've avoided all alcohol, coffee, tea, chocolate, and fruits like oranges and tomatoes. I have even started eating slowly and chewing thoroughly. I'm also currently taking Omiprazole. I think my conditions have improved, but I still get that burning feeling in my throat once in a while, usually at night. It's not bad, but I feel it. I'm a little disappointed that Omiprazole hasn't completely cured my esophagitis, because I thought it was supposed to. Lately, I've also had this warm feeling in the abdominal area.
My father had bad ulcers and was diagnosed with Helicobacter pylori quite a few years back. He had the triple therapy with antibiotics and it cured him.
I've read that H. pylori can be related to some of the symptoms that I'm experiencing and it's usually passed within family. But, it's been difficult to persuade my doctor to test me for it because he says over half of the world's population has it.
He finally agreed to test me for it today. I had my blood drawn and then realized that he had ordered me a Complete Blood Count blood test. Is this the right test to test for H. pylori? Isn't the right blood test supposed to be a targeted blood antibody test?
Thanks.
 Dr.M.Aroon kamath - Mon Nov 02, 2009 1:02 am

User avatar Hi,
Perhaps, the most reliable method for confirming H. pylori infection is a biopsy of the gastric mucosa during endoscopy which can be subjected to a rapid urease test, histological examination, and microbial culture.
If the clinical suspicion is very strong, this may be the best option.
Best wishes!

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