GERD Diagnosis

Submitted by Thiruvelan on Tue, 12/13/2011
GERD Diagnosis

Chest pain might be due to GERD, here are few GERD diagnosis tests to confirm acid reflux; they are Barium x-ray, endoscopy, motility test, and pH monitoring.

Diagnosis tests for GERD

You may require one or more of the following acid reflux tests: 

1.  Barium swallow radiograph uses x-rays to help find any abnormalities such as hiatal hernia and other structural or anatomical problems of esophagus. During this test, you require to drink a solution of barium before taking x-ray. This test can detect strictures, narrowing of esophagus, and ulcers.  

2.  Upper endoscopy help see the physical appearance of the esophagus, stomach and part of small intestine. You require drinking or spray a special drug to numb the throat and sedating you a little. Your doctor insert down your throat a thin, flexible plastic tube with a light and a camera called an endoscope. This tiny camera help see the esophagus surface for any abnormalities. Sometime during endoscopy, your doctor may take biopsy. Biopsy uses tiny tweezers called forceps to take tissue samples for laboratory examination to rule out infection or abnormal growths. 

3.  Esophagus pH monitor measures when and how much acid enters the esophagus. The doctor insert a small tube with a tiny device into the esophagus and clipping it. It stays there for 24 to 48 hours to measure pH continuously, during this period you can do normal activities. This detects whether respiratory symptoms such as wheezing and coughing has triggered by acid reflux.

4.  Esophageal manometry measures the coordination and force exerted by the esophageal muscle. Additionally, it help to measure how rhythmic the muscle contractions of the esophagus when you swallow. During this procedure, a thin flexible tube (catheter) containing sensors is inserted through the nose down to esophagus and into the stomach.

Who should go for Acid reflux diagnosis?

For those, who experiencing mild heartburn just need physical examination and treatment by lifestyle changes and over-the counter medication is enough. 

If you have serious symptoms such as long-lasting heartburn, difficulty swallowing, weight loss, or heartburn not relieved by over-the-counter medications, you will need specialized GERD testing. 

People having GERD for more than five years should test for Barrett's esophagus. If Barrett's esophagus confirmed, they should take endoscopy at regular intervals. That way, cancerous changes can identify and treat when the cancer is in its earliest stages.