ACID REFLUX DISEASE

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Saturday, August 14, 2010

How is acid reflux disease diagnosed?


How is acid reflux disease diagnosed?

It's time to see your doctor if you have acid reflux symptoms two or more times a week or if medications don't bring lasting relief. Symptoms such as heartburn are the key to the diagnosis of acid reflux disease, especially if lifestyle changes, antacids, or acid-blocking medications help reduce these symptoms.

If these steps don't help or if you have frequent or severe acid reflux disease symptoms, your doctor may order tests to confirm a diagnosis and check for other problems. You may need one or more tests such as these:

* Barium swallow (esophagram) can check for ulcers or a narrowing of the esophagus. You first swallow a solution to help structures show up on an X-ray.
* Esophageal manometry can check the function of the esophagus and lower esophageal sphincter.
* pH monitoring can check for acid in your esophagus. The doctor inserts a device into your esophagus and leaves it in place for one to two days to measure the amount of acid in your esophagus.
* Endoscopy can check for problems in your esophagus or stomach. This test involves inserting a long, flexible, lighted tube down your throat. First, the doctor will spray the back of your throat with anesthetic and give you a sedative to make you more comfortable.
* A biopsy may be takenduring endoscopy to check samples of tissue under a microscope for infection or abnormalities.
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