Heartburn is a burning feeling in the chest caused by stomach acid travelling up towards the throat (acid reflux). pH testing has uses in the management of GERD other than just diagnosing GERD. For example, the test can help determine why GERD symptoms do not respond to treatment. Perhaps 10 to 20 percent of patients will not have their symptoms substantially improved by treatment for GERD. This lack of response to treatment could be caused by ineffective treatment. This means that the medication is not adequately suppressing the production of acid by the stomach and is not reducing acid reflux. Alternatively, the lack of response can be explained by an incorrect diagnosis of GERD. In both of these situations, the pH test can be very useful. If testing reveals substantial reflux of acid while medication is continued, then the treatment is ineffective and will need to be changed. If testing reveals good acid suppression with minimal reflux of acid, the diagnosis of GERD is likely to be wrong and other causes for the symptoms need to be sought.
I have had reflux for 10 years it came out of no where. First off know that everyone is different. You have to be smart and learn yourself what causes your symptoms to flare up. Here’s my experience. Do not consume anything spicy or acidy ever! Do not lift heavy weights ever! No medicines doctors prescribed worked (on me), what does help is aloe vera gel caps (on me). Stress and anxiety will bring it on big time. Once it comes on relax and keep your mind off of it and it will go away. Stressing about your pain will only make it stay around. My number one key is: When the reflux comes on keep your mind off of it, stressing and worrying about it makes it worse. In my worst episodes with it i always got better when I said screw this i am tired of worrying about it, and boom you look up and your better. Try to notice the trends, write down what makes you feel good and makes you feel bad.
It appears that the diaphragm that surrounds the LES is important in preventing reflux. That is, in individuals without hiatal hernias, the diaphragm surrounding the esophagus is continuously contracted, but then relaxes with swallows, just like the LES. Note that the effects of the LES and diaphragm occur at the same location in patients without hiatal hernias. Therefore, the barrier to reflux is equal to the sum of the pressures generated by the LES and the diaphragm. see it here When the LES moves into the chest with a hiatal hernia, the diaphragm and the LES continue to exert their pressures and barrier effect. However, they now do so at different locations. Consequently, the pressures are no longer additive. Instead, a single, high-pressure barrier to reflux is replaced by two barriers of lower pressure, and reflux thus occurs more easily. So, decreasing the pressure barrier is one way that a hiatal hernia can contribute to reflux.
The amount of time that the esophagus contains acid is determined by a test called a 24-hour esophageal pH test (pH is a mathematical way of expressing the amount of acidity.) For this test, a small tube (catheter) is passed through the nose and positioned in the esophagus. On the tip of the catheter is a sensor that senses acid. The other end of the catheter exits from the nose, wraps back over the ear, and travels down to the waist, where it is attached to a recorder. Each time acid refluxes back into the esophagus from the stomach, it stimulates the sensor and the recorder records the episode of reflux. After a 20 to 24 hour period of time, the catheter is removed and the record of reflux from the recorder is analyzed.