Acid Reflux Disease (GERD) (cont.)
Acid Reflux (GERD) Diagnosis
Your doctor usually can diagnose reflux disease by the symptoms you report.
Diet and lifestyle changes may be recommended first, and perhaps an over-the-counter
- If symptoms continue more than 4 weeks despite
this therapy the person may be referred to a gastroenterologist, which is a doctor
who specializes in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
The gastroenterologist may perform an upper GI series.
- This is a series of
X-rays of the
esophagus, stomach, and upper part of the intestine.
- It is taken after you drink a contrast liquid that
makes certain features show up better on the X-rays.
- This series is sometimes called a barium swallow for
one type of contrast liquid that is used.
- This test gives less information than endoscopy but is
ordered to rule out other conditions such as ulcers or blockage of the esophagus.
The upper GI series is sometimes skipped altogether.
The gastroenterologist may perform an upper GI endoscopy, also called
or EGD, a procedure that can be done as an outpatient.
- You receive sedation then a flexible probe with
a tiny camera on the end is passed down your throat. The camera allows the doctor to see damage to the
esophagus, how severe the GERD is, and rule out
- Your esophagus may appear normal if you have mild
- This procedure allows the specialist to make diagnoses, assess damage, take biopsies if necessary, and even treat certain conditions on the spot.
Esophageal manometry is a test
that measures the function of the lower esophageal sphincter and the motor
function of the esophagus. A tube is passed down your throat until it reaches the esophagus. It is often performed along with 24-hour pH probe study.
In a 24-hour pH probe study, a thin tube is placed down
into your esophagus for 24 hours. The tube monitors episodes of acid reflux over the day and while you sleep.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/28/2014
Must Read Articles Related to Acid Reflux Disease (GERD)
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) FAQs
Acid reflux (GERD) is caused by lifestyle factors (alcohol, obesity), medication, diet, medical conditions, and eating habits. Symptoms of acid reflux (GERD) in...learn more >>
Heartburn FAQ including information about the causes of heartburn, lifestyle changes to reduce heartburn, OTC and prescription medications to decrease heartburn...learn more >>
Understanding Heartburn/GERD Medications
GERD and heartburn medications include antacids, histamine-2 blockers, proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), coating drugs, and promotility drugs. Side effects, drug i...learn more >>
Patient Comments & Reviews
The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Acid Reflux (GERD):