Advertisement

How is pH monitoring used to diagnose gastroesophageal reflux disease?

Lawrence S. Friedman, MD
Gastroenterology
The pH monitoring tests monitor an individual's gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) episodes over a day or two and measure pH levels in the esophagus. One method involves using endoscopy to insert a small capsule in the esophagus. The capsule is clipped in place for 48 hours and sends a radio transmitter signal recording pH levels. Patients can keep track of the times when they eat or sleep and find out how their pH levels correlate with these activities. The doctor might ask the patient to stop taking medication during this time to see how the gut responds without medication.

In another method, the doctor passes a thin, acid-sensing probe through the nose and positions it just above the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) -- the muscle connecting the esophagus and stomach. The probe stays in place for 24 hours to assess pH and reflux levels.

Continue Learning about GERD

7 Ways to Fight GERD
7 Ways to Fight GERD
Sometimes the signs of acid reflux are unmistakeable -- from searing heartburn to sour-tasting acid burbling up in your throat. Sometimes the signs ar...
Read More
Is there a correlation between acid reflux and IBS?
Lisa Ganjhu, DOLisa Ganjhu, DO
Between stomach acids and spasms, it can be easy to mistake IBS for acid reflux, and vice versa....
More Answers
What are natural treatments for heartburn?
Lawrence S. Friedman, MDLawrence S. Friedman, MD
Some people have found herbs and other natural remedies to be helpful in the treatment of heartburn ...
More Answers
What Can Happen If GERD Is Untreated?
What Can Happen If GERD Is Untreated?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.