Diagnosis of peptic ulcer has first established based on its symptoms. If the ulcer symptoms not severe, your doctor may treat based on the symptoms without proper peptic ulcer diagnosis. If the treatment is not resolve within few weeks, then your doctor may suggest diagnosis tests.
Peptic ulcer Test
The most popularly used peptic ulcer tests are:
- Barium x rays - is a special type x ray for this you require to drink a chalky liquid containing barium, which makes the gastro digestive tract visible on the X rays.
- Endoscopy - is a thin flexible tube with a light source and camera at one end, another end connected to a monitor to view the gastro digestive tract. Additionally, it is handy to take a biopsy - tiny samples of the tissue at the affected site for microscopic examination. Experts disagree over the use of endoscopy on all patients with symptoms of peptic ulcer or those who do not respond to initial medication, because it does not add any practical information about the treatment choices. Endoscopic test is requiring only when there is any evidence or suspicion of bleeding or serious complications.
- Gastroscopy or esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) - is a special form of endoscopy, which is handy if your doctor suspects peptic ulcer. It is convenient to identify the location and severity of an ulcer.
Helicobacter pylori diagnosis
70 to 90% of the peptic ulcer cases are due to Helicobacter pylori infection. To diagnose Helicobacter pylori your doctor may order:
- Enzyme-Linked Immuno-Sorbent Assay (ELISA) – is a blood test to measure antibodies (proteins produced by the immune system), which has produced against this bacterium. This test is simple and inexpensive; however, it shows positive for a person whose ulcer has cured recently.
- Urea breath test - is a noninvasive test in which you need to drink a special liquid to detect pylori by measuring carbon dioxide in your breath. This microbe will break down this liquid to carbohydrate, thus increases carbon dioxide in the breath. This test is more accurate; however, very difficult to carryout.
- Stool Test – is a test to detect the presence of genetic fingerprints of H. pylori in the feces (stool). It is considering as accurate as the breath test for detecting initial bacteria as well as for recurrences after antibiotic therapy. This test is useful to confirm whether H. pylori infection has cured fully.
- Tissue tests - is an invasive procedure needs a biopsy by endoscopy to detect the bacteria. It is the most accurate test for pylori. However, many patients are being treated for H. pylori based on the above three noninvasive tests.