Your doctor may start by taking a medical history and performing a physical check to see if you have an ulcer. Following that, you may be required to undertake diagnostic tests such as:
H. pylori tests in the lab. Tests to see if your doctor may recommend the bacteria H. pylori is present in your body. They may use a blood, stool, or breath test to search for H. pylori. The most accurate test is the breath test.
You drink or consume anything containing radioactive carbon for the breath test. H. pylori is a bacteria that breaks down the contents of your stomach. You then blow into a bag that is subsequently sealed. Your breath sample will include radioactive carbon in the form of carbon dioxide if you have H. pylori infection.
If you’re taking an antacid before your H. pylori test, tell your doctor. Because antacids might generate false-negative findings, you may need to stop taking the drug for a while, depending on which test is utilised.
Endoscopy. Your doctor may use a scope to inspect your upper digestive tract (endoscopy). During an endoscopy, a hollow tube with a lens (endoscope) is sent down your neck and into your oesophagus, stomach, and small intestine. Your doctor uses an endoscope to check for ulcers.
If your doctor suspects an ulcer, a tiny tissue sample (biopsy) may be taken for testing at a lab. A biopsy can also reveal whether H. pylori is present in your stomach lining.
If you’re older, have indications of bleeding, have recently lost weight or had trouble eating or swallowing, your doctor is more likely to prescribe an endoscope. Even if your symptoms improve, if an endoscope reveals an ulcer in your stomach, a follow-up endoscopy should be conducted following therapy to ensure that it has healed.
The series of the upper gastrointestinal tract.
This set of X-rays of the upper digestive system, also known as a barium swallow, produces pictures of your oesophagus, stomach, and small intestine. You consume a white liquid containing barium during the X-ray, covering your digestive tract and making an ulcer more noticeable.