What You Should Know About PH Testing
One of the tests your doctor may order if you suffer from Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a PH test. This test will show how much acid escapes from your stomach into your esophagus, and how long acid is staying in that area. These stomach acids are responsible for the heartburn symptoms experienced by many GERD sufferers, and can also lead to ulcers and other complications. It is important to measure their levels to determine what treatment is advisable. This test is often used if no evidence of GERD shows up during an endoscopy, but you are still experiencing GERD symptoms. This test is also sometimes used to measure how effective your current GERD treatment is.
Acidity is measured using a tubular probe that is placed just above the sphincter that separates the esophagus from the stomach. This probe is either inserted through the nose or put in place during an endoscopy. The test can be done on an outpatient basis at many locations in Albany.
Your doctor will tell you to abstain from food and drink for a period of four to six hours before your test begins. Tell your doctor if there are any medications you take regularly, as there are medications that should not be taken during a PH test.
The tube will be left in place for 24 hours. It is attached to a small monitor that can be put in your pocket or attached to your belt. During this time, you should eat and drink as normal, and engage in your regular, daily activities.
During the test, keep track of any GERD-associated symptoms. These include chest pain, heartburn, reflux of fluids, bloating and nausea. You should also tell your doctor about any coughing or wheezing you experience, since it is possible that your symptoms may have another cause than GERD.
Overall, PH testing is a very successful method in diagnosing and finding the best treatment for GERD.