Diagnosis Gastroenterology

Heartburn
Diagnosis

Talking with your doctor about your symptoms may be enough for him or her to make a diagnosis of gastroesophageal reflux (GERD). However, additional tests may be recommended to determine its severity, including:

  • Upper GI Endoscopy: An endoscope is a device consisting of a flexible tube and a mini camera. In endoscopy, this device is introduced through the mouth to view the esophagus, stomach and upper small intestines.
  • Upper GI Series: These are a series of X-rays that examine the esophagus, stomach and small intestine. The X-rays are taken after you have swallowed a barium suspension, which coats the lining of the upper gastrointestinal tract. A radiologist then looks for irregularities in the linings, which can help diagnose a variety of digestive problems.
  • Esophageal Manometry: This test measures the motor action of the lower esophageal sphincter and esophageal body. A catheter measures esophageal pressure and records the duration and sequence of contractions.
  • Esophageal pH Monitoring: This is a test to measure the frequency and duration of stomach acid that enters the esophagus.

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.

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