H. pylori Breath Testing | Cary… | Cary Gastroenterology Associates

This test can help diagnose the presence of H. pylori, a type of bacteria that can live in your digestive tract, causing ulcers in the stomach lining or upper part of your small intestine. During the test, you will swallow a pill or liquid that contains tagged carbon molecules. If you have an H. pylori infection, carbon will be released when the solution breaks down in your stomach. Your body will absorb the carbon, then expel it as you exhale into a bag. The doctor will use a special device to detect and measure the carbon molecules.


  • Do not eat or drink beginning six before your test
  • Do not smoke for six hours before your test
  • You must discontinue several types of medication days or weeks before the test

H. pylori Breath Test Preparation Instructions

What To Expect

The process takes about 20 minutes. We will first take an initial breath sample by having you blow into a small bag or other container. Next, you will swallow either a drink or a capsule that contains the carbon molecules. Finally, you again exhale into a small bag, providing samples for comparison which will be used to detect the presence of H. pylori bacteria in your stomach. Following the test you will be able to return to your normal daily activities.

There is very low risk of any side effects or complications with this test.

Your Health Matters

Book an appointment today at one of our office locations throughout the Cary, Raleigh, Holly Springs and Triangle region. We are committed to providing you with the most comprehensive quality of gastroenterology care.