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Diagnosing Acid Reflux: Esophageal Acid Testing

Most people want to claim to have a condition or disease because it seems comforting to know what we are afflicted with, but is that worth not taking the tests and missing the opportunity to treat your condition right?  The simple fact that you may have a condition that is recognizable by rather easy tests and that the condition is treatable is a blessing in and of itself.  Do not be the one that is taking for granted the chance to get rid of an uncomfortable leach in the physical world.  Here is a summary of the basic diagnosing procedure of esophageal acid testing.

Esophageal acid testing is not the most enjoyable or even comfortable procedure to go through as it is both uncomfortable and long lasting to the patient. 

Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a condition that afflicts more people than the general population may understand, but without the right diagnosis it could go undetected for a substantial amount of time.  The process of esophageal acid testing is as close to perfect as there is at this point in time for a foolproof diagnosis of acid reflux.  As you may have read, acid reflux occurs in many people from a slowing of the emptying of the stomach, making it possible to have acid reflux for an extended amount of time due to the opening of the passage to the stomach.

The specialist or doctor will position a tube in the patient’s throat with Ph catheter sensors on either side of the tube.  One end of the tube will be down the throat and positioned right in the middle of the esophagus while the other end of the tube will circle around and go past the ear to the waist where it is attached to a recorder.  When the sensor senses acid then it will be recorded for the duration of the period of acid reflux during a period that extends to 20 or 24 hours in total.

As is the case with most diagnosing procedures, acid reflux or not, the system has its flaws in that most people afflicted will not have a regular or large amount of acid present in the esophagus at most times.  Only a few may have a large enough amount to be considered seriously afflicted while others go on undetected.  If you think that this procedure is something that you should have performed on you then contact your personal medical professional and set up a time right now.
 

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Treating Acid Reflux with Protonix

If you are suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease then you are probably spending hours upon hours trying to find a little relief from that burning in your throat every night.  There is a plethora of options available to you when you walk in to the local grocery or drug store right there on the shelf, but which ones do what and how do you know what will work?  In this article you will learn a little bit about the acid reflux drug known as “Protonix” and why it could work for you.

Protonix is a proton pump inhibitor, meaning that its way of trying to overcome acid reflux disease is to not allow the stomach to create acid in the first place.  Whereas antacids enter the stomach and try to neutralize the acid that is there and histamine antagonists due almost the same thing, Protonix and other proton pump inhibitors try to head the problem off at the pass.  This is worth trying for those who get a more temporary solution from antacids, or actually get very little relief from the other options available to those suffering from GERD.

The use of Protonix is just like using any other drug on the market because it does not come without its side effects and problems.  Problems like diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, constipation, rash, and headaches occur most commonly in individuals who take Protonix, but this does not mean that it will happen to you.  If these problems or other problems persist in your use of the drug then it may be worth it to try another drug or talk to your family doctor immediately.

 

Even More Complications of GERD

Gastroesophageal reflux disease is not generally a socially acceptable subject because it is difficult to understand the pain a person is going through when you are hearing about disgusting things like vomiting and heartburn.  However, understanding the complications of GERD is something that every person that has ever had the condition should do, here are a few of the complications of acid reflux, or GERD.

 

There are other options available to those who are looking to try a proton pump inhibitor but are unhappy or unable to find Protonix.  Options like lansoprazole (Prevacid), omeprazole (Prilosec), and rabeprazole (Aciphex) are other drugs that do essentially the same thing as Protonix.  Some may work the same way but Protonix actually helps with treating Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome, which is a condition that is very harmful to the stomach and esophagus.  Ask your doctor if Protonix is right for you because of this very reason.

Throat and Larynx Inflammation- When the refluxed liquid moves past the esophageal sphincter then it enters the area where the pharynx and larynx, or throat and voice box, lie.  This complication is relatively uncomplicated overall, but can cause pain and discomfort in the form of a sore throat or horse voice.  While this doesn’t seem to be too much of a problem, the afflicted will disagree if they are in a field that requires a decent amount of public speaking or sales talk.  The presence of a weak voice can take away from the opportunity of success to the individual with the problem.

Lung Infection and Inflammation- Many have felt the complication of liquid entering the lungs, commonly referred to as aspiration.  If you have aspiration it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are suffering from GERD, but if you have GERD it is probable that you suffer from aspiration.  Aspiration pneumonia can be a serious condition that will require the immediate care and treatment of a doctor.  If it isn’t aspiration pneumonia then it could result in an eventual scarring of the throat, or fibrosis, that damages the lungs.  Aspiration generally occurs at night when acid reflux is at its worst without the assistance of gravity.

These are two of the seven major complications of GERD, continue on with your reading to determine what the complication of your GERD could be.  If you haven’t seen one of the complications of acid reflux that you believe should be mentioned then you should see your family doctor or physician to decide if your complications are as a result of acid reflux or something else altogether.  There is nothing comical about acid reflux, even though it may be an embarrassing and sometimes disgusting condition to discuss.

Diagnosing Acid Reflux: Esophageal Motility Testing

Most people want to claim to have a condition or disease because it seems comforting to know what we are afflicted with, but is that worth not taking the tests and missing the opportunity to treat your condition right?  The simple fact that you may have a condition that is recognizable by rather easy tests and that the condition is treatable is a blessing in and of itself.  Do not be the one that is taking for granted the chance to get rid of an uncomfortable leach in the physical world.  Here is a summary of the basic diagnosing procedure of esophageal motility testing.

If you are diagnosing the problem with a struggling weightlifter then you may look at his muscle tone.  If you are diagnosing for the presence of acid reflux then you would want to see how strong the muscles are that are functioning in the esophagus.  With esophageal motility testing the doctor or specialist will place a small tube or catheter down a nostril that then goes down the back of the throat.  The catheter will sense pressure by the contraction of the esophagus by the recording of the pressure with that same tube. 

 

These histamine antagonists work a little differently than antacids by helping fight the actual chemical that creates acid in the stomach.  Histamine antagonists block the cell walls inside the stomach from producing acid with acid producing cells.  Essentially the histamine antagonists aren’t moving into the stomach and neutralizing acid that is already in place, it is instead stopping the acid at the production point by not allowing it to be produced in the first place.

Also, during this same process the relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter is evaluated to determine its pressure in relation to the reflux.  Some doctors will require the patient to sip water intermittently throughout the procedure to test the pressure of the esophagus.  This process isn’t foolproof and does not come up with a clear and free diagnosis of the patient truly suffering or not suffering from acid reflux, but it does provide some results to help the medical professional in making their final judgment.

One result of esophageal motility testing is the possible declaration that an individual may not get any results from typical GERD medications.  The second result that could help from this procedure is that it could determine if a patient needs to have some sort of endoscopic or surgical procedure to cure the abnormalities associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease.  If you think that this procedure is something that you should have performed on you then contact your personal medical professional and set up a time right now.

Treating Acid Reflux with Histamine Antagonists

Many people generally assume that the best way to treat acid reflux is with antacids because they are specially designed to neutralize acids in the stomach.  While this is true and antacids are very effective against acid reflux, the problem is the very short amount of time that antacids actually neutralize the acid in the stomach.  There are other prescription drugs or over the counter drugs that help fight of the effects of acid reflux, one being histamine antagonists.

The histamine antagonists are much like the antacids in that it also matters when and where you take the pills before or after eating the meal in question.  Histamine antagonists are generally longer lasting than antacids, but it generally works to take the pills at least 30 minutes before eating the meal.  When the meal is then eaten it will be digested with the histamine antagonists at work in full force.  Many people who suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease will also take the histamine antagonists just before going to bed to assist in eliminating acid reflux during the night.

There are an abundance of histamine antagonists on the market today; most are even available for purchase over the counter without the need for a prescription.  Most have heard of Tagamet, Zantac, Axid, and Pepcid which are all available at most grocery and drug stores.  If these do not work in the beginning it is probably worth your time to visit your doctor and see if an extra strength histamine antagonist is available to you.
 

Related Articles about Acid Reflux

 

Acid Reflux Symptoms - The typical cause of heartburn or acid reflux is when acid from the stomach backs up into the esophagus. If your lower esophageal sphincter is not normal, stomach contents may flow back into your esophagus and cause heartburn.

 

Acid Reflux Home Remedies - Did you know that yogurt may help heal your esophogus and make your acid reflux go away?

 

Acid Reflux Medication - Everytime you turn on the television these days, there is a downpour of over-the-counter and prescription medications for the relief and prevention of acid reflux. As with medications for any ailment, there are theories regarding the disease and how well the medications work.

 

Acid Reflux Diet - Acid reflux has forced me to suddenly wake up countless times, in a state of panic, choking on my own acid and gasping for breath.

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