الأربعاء، 30 يوليو، 2008

Acid Reflux Disease: Its Symptoms & Diagnosis

While we are aware of the typical symptoms of acid reflux disease, a doctor may conduct various diagnostic tests to rule out any organic cause of your acid reflux problem. Typically, if the problem persists after lifestyle and diet changes, the doctor may suggest one of the several procedures enumerated below to find out the actual cause.

These procedures would be classified as invasive because they require placing a tube into your
esophagus in order to gather information

Two procedures recommended by the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, the 24-Hour Esophageal Ph Test and the 48-Hour Bravo Esophageal Ph Test, require the placement of a tube into your esophagus by way of the nasal passage. The tube must be inserted far enough so that it reaches the Esophageal Sphincter muscle, the starting point of acid reflux.

A small tube containing an instrument that detects acid levels is inserted into your food tube and placed just above the lower esophageal sphincter. A clear adhesive is placed over the tube to adhere it to your cheek and hold it in place. A recording device is attached to the end of the tube and placed on a belt or over your shoulder. With this device you can keep track of notable changes and make record of them.

A week before the test is performed you must restrict yourself to certain foods and medications. Once the 24 hour test period begins you may not shower. You must keep a record of everything you eat and what time you eat. You must also keep track of your sleeping pattern. Symptoms must be entered into the recording device. At the end of the 24 hour test your doctor or his assistant will disconnect the device and the recording instrument and remove the tube from your esophagus. At this time they will be able to gather the recorded information and analyze the results. This will provide the information needed to develop a treatment plan right for your specific case.

The Esophageal Manometry Test takes less time. It is performed by placing a small tube that is sensitive to pressure into the oral or nasal cavity and into your esophagus. This device calculates the assistance given to the digestive process by the esophagus by reading the intensity of the contractions of the muscles therein.

X-ray and Endoscopic procedures help in uncovering possible blockages that may hinder the digestion process. These procedures make use of a scope which allows for internal observation.

Daily medication or a change in habits and routine may be necessary once a doctor has determined that your acid reflux has not been caused by a scarred or overly narrow esophagus, or some sort of unnatural growth or occurrence.


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