Helicobacter Pylori Antibodies
What is it?
Helicobacter (hee-lee ko-bak-ter) pylori (pi-lor-ee) are bacteria (bak-teer-e-uh) found in the stomach of many people who have ulcers. An ulcer is a painful sore or hole in the lining of your stomach wall or intestines. Bacteria are germs that cause infections (in-fek-shuns). This germ is often called H. pylori. People who have ulcers caused by H. pylori develop antibodies (an-ti-bah-dees) to these germs. Antibodies are proteins in your blood that find and destroy substances produced by infections. Antibodies to H. pylori can be found with a blood test.
Why do I need it?
If you have repeated or long term pain in the stomach, you may have an ulcer. The ulcer may be in the stomach or the duodenum (dew-o-d-num). The duodenum is the upper part of the small intestine that leads from the stomach. Ulcers were once thought to be caused by stress and diet. Many ulcers are actually caused by an infection. Caregivers will explain the test and why you need it.
How do I get ready for the test?
Your caregiver will tell you when to have your blood test done. The blood test may be done before or after eating.
How is the specimen collected?
A caregiver will put a wide rubber strap around your arm and tighten it. Your skin will be cleaned with alcohol. A small needle attached to a special test tube will be put into a vein in your arm or hand. The tube has suction to pull the blood into it. When the tube is full, the rubber strap, needle and tube are removed. The caregiver will press a piece of cotton where the needle was removed. You may be asked to hold the cotton on the site for a few minutes to help stop the bleeding. Tape may then be put over the cotton on your arm.
What do I do after the test?
You may remove the tape and cotton in about 20 to 30 minutes. Call your caregiver to get the results of your test. Your caregiver will explain what your test results mean for you. Follow the instructions of your caregiver.
You have the right to help plan your care. To help with this plan, you must learn about your lab tests. You can then discuss the results with your caregivers. Work with them to decide what care may be used to treat you. You always have the right to refuse treatment.