Acid reflux is a standard digestive condition the many people experience. The reason behind the occurrence of acid reflux is due to gastro esophageal reflux disease, which is a long term gastrointestinal illness. The presence of gastro esophageal reflux disease is due to the backwash of acids produced in the stomach into the esophagus tube. As the acid must enter the esophagus tube, they irritate and create burning sensation, known as heartburn.
Before proceeding with the tests and diagnosis for acid reflux, it is crucial to understand the signs that an individual experience. The following are the common symptoms that person experiences who is suffering from acid reflux:
- Burning pain in the chest
- Sour taste
- Pain in the chest
- Problem in swallowing food
- A dry cough that is persistent
- Sensation of lump in the throat.
When to See a Doctor for Acid Reflux?
It is imperative to seek quick medical attention if you are suffering from a high degree of chest pain. You can also visit the doctor if you are showing additional signs such as shortness of breath, arm, and jaw pain. These signs may be the symptoms of a heart attack.
How Do You Diagnose Acid Reflux?
As stated in the above paragraph, depending on the symptoms experienced by the patient, the doctor decides on the tests for acid reflux that will provide in-depth information. The following is the list of tests that a gastroenterologist performs based on the symptoms and frequency of acid reflux occurrence:
Ambulatory Acid Test for Diagnosing Acid Reflux
Ambulatory acid probe test for diagnosing acid reflux, measures the pH content in the esophagus tube. The test requires the patient to undergo a 24-hour observation during which the doctor will receive in-depth analysis about the acid content in the esophagus tube. The acid probe test is capable of identifying when and for how long the stomach backwash is the acid into the esophagus. One type of monitoring the activity is by inserting a flexible tube through the nose into the esophagus. The other side of the tube connects to a device and a computer. The other type requires placing a clip in the esophagus using endoscopy. The clip transmits a signal continuously for about two days. The clip will fall off through the stool automatically.
X-ray of the Upper Part of Digestive System is also Conducted to Diagnose Acid Reflux
Barium swallow/GI series is a procedure where the patient drinks a chalky liquid that fills the lining of the gastrointestinal tract for diagnosing acid reflux. The doctor will prescribe x-ray for the upper part of the digestive tract. The result of the x-ray gives detail in the silhouette of the stomach, esophagus, & upper part of the intestine.
Endoscope Exam for Acid Reflux
For diagnosing acid reflux, the doctor will inject a flexible tube into the esophagus to visually check and look for the signs of damage occurred to the esophagus tube. The tube consists of a camera and light that will provide a clear view of the throat. It is also possible for the doctor to collect a sample of that tissue to perform further testing. Endoscopy is useful in looking at extreme acid reflux complications such as Barrett's esophagus.
Another Way to Diagnose Acid Reflux is by Manometry Test
Manometry is esophageal motility testing for diagnosing acid reflux, which measures the pressure and movement in the esophagus. The test uses a catheter as the device that enters into the esophagus through the nose.
Treatment for Acid Reflux
Depending on the symptoms and the results displayed by the tests carried out by the doctor for acid reflux, he or she will offer a treatment consisting of both natural and medical attention. Natural care requires a change in the lifestyle and food habits, while the medical care for acid reflux requires the use of drugs for a particular period. It is also crucial to talk about the changes to the doctor to ensure that the changes are functioning appropriately.