I was tested for an ulcer last week. For several days, I’d been experiencing some discomfort after eating. The doctor wanted to rule out an ulcer, so I was sent for a test. The H. pylori breath test seemed simple enough as my doctor explained it to me. Apparently, I had to blow into a tube and the whole test would take forty minutes. I also had to fast for four hours beforehand. Nothing about that seemed difficult.

I chose to get the test done in the morning since the fasting part would be done while I slept. I got to the lab, waited a few minutes and then was shown to the testing area. The nurse got me to blow into a tube. It was as easy as it seems. Then set down a small amount of liquid in a cup. She asked me if I was allergic to citrus because I had to drink the liquid and it contained citrus. I said no. I love citrus-based fruits. The liquid was a bit tart but otherwise quite refreshing. The part that I didn’t know until afterwards was that the liquid contained urea, which is the main ingredient in urine. While technically I didn’t drink pee, one could argue it was pretty much the same thing.

After drinking the pee, I was told I had to wait 30 minutes before blowing into another tube. I was dispatched back into the waiting room while I used my smartphone to look at antiques. Half an hour later, I was called back to blow into the second and final tube. That was the end of the test.

I checked my results online twenty-four hours later. I do not have an ulcer, at least according to this test. I’m actually feeling much better now. My doctor thinks it’s related to stress. I started feeling better as soon as I removed a big stressor from my life last week.

So that’s why they make you drink pee at the lab.


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