Tests And Diagnosis For Acid Reflux Disease

The esophageal pH test is an outpatient procedure performed to measure the pH or amount of acid that flows into the esophagus from the stomach during a 24-hour period. GERD is a chronic condition, which means there is no cure. Once it begins, it usually is life-long. If there is injury to the lining of the esophagus (esophagitis), this also is a chronic condition. Eating. Eat your regular meals at the usual times and eat the way you normally do. If you do not eat during the monitoring period, your stomach will not produce acid as usual, and the test results will not be accurate. Eat foods that tend to increase your symptoms (without making yourself miserable, of course). You may drink as much plain water as you want.

Keep track of your symptoms so that you can help the doctor determine what is wrong. Be sure to take note of whether your symptoms occur in the morning, at night, or throughout the day. Try to keep track of whether your symptoms occur when you eat certain foods. In most cases, you can resume your normal diet and regular medications immediately following the exam. The barium may cause your stools to be gray or white and you may feel constipated for two to three days following the procedure. Drink extra fluids if needed to help your body resume a regular schedule.

While you are having esophageal pH monitoring you will be instructed to eat regular meals and to resume your normal activities. You usually should not lie down, however, until you go to sleep for the night. This test is not a substitute for professional medical diagnosis and treatment management. If you have any concerns regarding your health, seek professional medical advice. Clues about your heartburn may help a doctor look for the underlying cause for your symptoms. You may have an ulcer instead of GERD, and these conditions each require different treatments. Even though different treatments are necessary, some patients will notice an improvement in their symptoms after the doctor begins treatment, even if it is not precise to an ulcer or acid reflux.

Roman, S., Gyawali, C., Savarino, E. et al. Ambulatory Reflux Monitoring for Diagnosis of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease: Update of the Porto Consensus and Recommendations from an International Consensus Group. Neurogastroenterology and Motility. 2017. 29(10):1-15. In Esophageal pH monitor test there index is a thin plastic catheter passed through the nostril or mouth down towards the esophagus. It has to be swallowed by the patient gradually so that it can reach its destination. There is a sensor attached to the tip of the catheter which reacts when comes in contact with the acids in the esophagus.

Before doing any testing, your doctor will ask you about your symptoms of GERD. The most common of these is heartburn. Other symptoms may include nausea or abdominal pain, difficulty swallowing, or a chronic cough. She will also ask you about your risk factors for GERD including whether you have a hiatal hernia, if you smoke, or if you take medications or eat foods which could predispose you to reflux. Barium swallow isn’t a surefire method of diagnosing GERD Only one out of every three people with GERD has esophageal changes that are visible on X-rays.

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