Diagnostic Tests for
GERDIn order to receive the proper
diagnostic tests for gerd or gastroesophageal disease it is very important to get them done by a doctor in
a medical environment. Many of the symptoms associated with the illness can overlap with those of other and this
makes it a difficult one to diagnose by the individual suffering. Some of the signs are similar to those of a flu
and others can go unnoticed for years as they happen during the night.
Heartburn, for example, is a symptom of acid reflux which is often mistaken for a heart
attack. The pain and pressure which it produces within the chest region has nothing to do with the heart, but
because of its location it even received a name which includes the word "heart" in it. Some of the testing which
can be done to properly diagnose the cause are the upper endoscopy, ph test and
the barium x-ray.
Also known as a EGD, the upper
endoscopy lets the physician look inside of the esophagus, duodenum, and stomach of the suffering patient.
The duodenum is the first section of the small intestine. To perform this task a small instrument
labeled as the endoscope is used. This is basically a very thing and flexible lighten tube which
is place into the throat area through the nose of the patient. The procedure is a bit unpleasant as you will have a
foreign object place in your nose and travel all the way down your throat but it will help the doctor determine the
amount of damage caused by the reflux.
will look at the tissue and walls of the upper digestive tract and look for anything that is out of order. This
could encompass ulcers, polyps, tumors, burns, inflammation, hiatal hernias and other problem areas or
disorders. Based on the evidence, you will be able to receive better treatment as you actual condition
will be better understood. The difficulty with acid reflux symptoms is that are not the
same for all individuals and may damage the tissue and different levels and
Before the procedure you will be informed not to eat for six
hours or more in order to keep the stomach empty. The doctor will then spray your mouth with a local anesthetic in
order to calm the gag reflex. You might also receive an additional sedative to help you relax.
The endoscope will be slowly inserted through your nose and
down into the esophagus. The urge to vomit is normal, but the tube should not interfere with breathing in any way.
The tiny camera located on the end of the tube will send the video to an outside monitor via which the doctor can
monitor and record the damage.
Some patients have a sore throat for a couple days after the
procedure but that usually passes on its own without complications. If vomiting blood or anything of the sort
occurs, the physicians should be notified immediately.
Commonly known as a barium swallow, the barium x-ray is used in
order to diagnose any abnormalities within the digestive tract. The patient is given a colored liquid which
contains the barium and this will then coat the sides of the stomach and esophagus. Since the barium is visible
under an x-ray, the person evaluating it can see if there are any visible problems such as ulcers, strictures or
Most of the time this test would be used for people that are
having problems swallowing their food and is not sensitive enough to be used in order to diagnose acid reflux or
GERD. This type of test can be received at a hospital within the radiology
Before the test you will be asked not to drink or eat anything
in the morning of the exam. As you stand against an upright x-ray table located in the front of a fluoroscope you
will drink the barium. The examining radiologist will observe the barium move down the digestive tract and might
ask you to position yourself in different ways to see the tract at different angles.
After the exam you will be advised to eat foods high in fiber
and drink plenty of liquids in order to avoid constipation. Barium takes a day or two to leave the body and can
cause stomach cramps as well as diarrhea.
A ph test is used to measure the acidity and alkalinity within
the person's body. A small tube is placed through your nose and left for 24 hours in order to sensor the fluid that
is in the esophagus. The patient will be asked to write down any symptoms or times when they are feeling heartburn
and this will help evaluate what is really going on within the body.
Some retailers have begun selling home ph tests which are small
tabs that you either place under your tongue or pee on in order to measure the acidity. These are not very accurate
and can be down right misleading if not used properly. For example, the second urination of the day is less dense
then the first and will not show the acidity as well. Some specialists are also concerned whether this can be used
at all to measure the levels of stomach acid as the body is a very complicated piece of
The above mentioned are the most
common diagnostic tests for gerd and will help you understand the exact causes and severity of the