How Can Doctors Test Patients For Acid Reflux

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heartburnDid you know that three out of ten folks have symptoms of “heartburn” from time to time? For this reason, it isn’t always easy to know when to call a simple case of heartburn actual acid reflux disease.

Acid reflux is also called gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. It is defined as a chronic health condition that causes the lining of the esophagus to become irritated by acid from the stomach.

For most people, this condition is just annoying. Folks who suffer from mild cases might learn to be careful of consuming certain kinds of foods and drinks to avoid most outbreaks. They may also take some common over-the-counter medication to help control this condition and relieve symptoms.

However, there are some times of acid reflux that can be very serious, and a couple of them may even increase the risk of developing cancer of the esophagus. These are called esophagitis and Barret’s esophagus condition.

Symptoms Of Acid Reflux

heartburnSome symptoms of this condition are pretty obvious, and they may range from mild to severe. The classic mild symptoms are burping and a feeling of having stomach acid rise back into the throat and even the mouth.

While these symptoms are unpleasant, they only may occur once in awhile and not actually be painful.In other cases, average people who lack a medical education might not recognize the symptoms at all.

Symptoms like dark stools or a hoarse voice might be hard to spot or mistaken for another health issue. It is also true that most of these symptoms could be caused by other problems, and that is why it is a good idea to have a doctor diagnose the issue.

These are potential symptoms of acid reflux disease:

  • Bad breath, a bad taste in the mouth, regurgitation, and burping
  • Pain or problems swallowing
  • Chest pain, or “heartburn”
  • Chronic cough, asthma, and hoarseness

How Do Doctors Diagnose Acid Reflux Disease

heartburnAs mentioned above, almost 30 percent of people who experience heartburn mostly find it is just annoying. Even doctors disagree on exactly when this health condition crosses the line from something mild into something quite serious.

People who only suffer mild and occasional symptoms might just be told to try to figure out if certain kinds of food or drinks trigger attacks.

The doctor might even prescribe a diet that generally relieves symptoms in most people.While some patients even need surgery to relieve acid reflux, this is rare. They may also be given medication or told to purchase certain brands of OTC medications at the drug store.

Very likely, the doctor will caution them to call back if symptoms do become worse.Wile most people find that they condition can be managed and doesn’t really get worse, a small number of people may find that their condition progresses into a very serious health issue.

What Are the Symptoms of Acid Reflux Disease?

People with acid reflux disease often have some or all of the following symptoms:

A doctor will take a medical history. Typically, when people experience the classic symptoms of this condition, like constant heartburn or regurgitation, it is pretty easy for doctors to make a diagnosis and prescribe treatments.

Acid RefluxThis is especially true if the symptoms are fairly mild with no other complications.Some people have a more serious condition that doesn’t get relieved by normal treatments.

Other folks have complications of acid reflux, and these could include a sudden loss of weight because of digestive or eating difficulties, dark stools, and even trouble breathing. They may require further tests.

Barium Swallow Radiograph To Diagnose Acid Reflux

Doctors can choose to order a certain X-Ray that is called a barium swallow radiograph. This procedure can help rule out structural problems and pinpoint the correct diagnoses. This test is painless, but you will have to swallow barium.

This solution helps doctors take the right X-rays of your throat in order to make a diagnosis. Even this method is not 100 percent effective. Actually only one of three folks who suffer from this condition has a problem that is visible on X-rays. If the problem is not apparent, the doctor may order additional tests.

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