Seldom heartburn, which is caused by overeating, consumption of spices, alcohol and nicotine, is usually harmless. However, if heartburn occurs frequently, even after normal food-intake and during sleeping, then a medical examination should be done.
The study for evaluation of heartburn generally starts with a few questions about the patient’s symptoms and medical history. This way, the doctor can identify the severity of the condition, and whether an underlying illness is present. Afterward, a physical examination takes place.
At the beginning, there is the visual inspection of the pharynx; thus, redness can be recognized, which points to the inflammation of the esophagus caused by reflux disorder. Furthermore, exclusion of possible heart disease is essential, as well. Next, a reflection of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum can give accurate information about the condition.
Endoscopic studies provide a detailed insight about the state of internal organs and body parts. To examine the esophagus, the endoscope, a tube-like instrument with about one inch in diameter and an attached camera on its tip is inserted through the mouth of the patient. On a monitor, the doctor takes a look at the inside of the esophagus and assesses the condition of its mucosa.
Moreover, this enables the physician to control a possible ulcer formation. Finally, the doctor will make a distinction between a positive endoscopy and a negative reflux esophagitis. About 60 percent of all patients suffer from the latter variant in which no inflammation is seen.
In addition to the esophagus, the stomach is examined, as well. Here, the endoscope is gently pushed through the mouth and esophagus into the stomach and provides a clear image of the organ. A gastroscopy may be performed in an ambulant clinic or a hospital, depending on the doctor’s decision. Since the procedure is usually perceived as unpleasant and can cause pain and choking, drug anesthesia is common.
Some physicians perform this investigation by inserting the endoscope through the nose. Modern endoscopes can remove tissue samples and perform minor operations such as the treatment of bleeding in the organ. The gastroscopy can diagnose diseases that lead to secondary reflux.
Another way to diagnose possible reflux disease is the acid determination. During this procedure, the pH levels of the stomach acid are monitored for at least 24 hours. A thin, about 3 mm probe that will be left in the stomach during a gastroscopy measures the concentration of acid and reports the value to an electronic data storage. The equipment should be worn close to the body during the entire duration of the evaluation.
Stomach reflux can occur in conjunction with alkaline reflux caused by inflammation of the duodenum, which transports the mixture of bile acids and digestive enzymes into the esophagus. The blend of alkaline juice affects the delicate lining of the esophagus aggressively and can cause more damage and pain than reflux of gastric juices. Therefore, an endoscopic examination of the duodenum is generally part of the reflections of the diagnosis of heartburn, too. Acid reflux disease is preventable by watching the daily diet and listening to the body’s natural warning signs. To get more information about the disorder and how to avoid it download the Reflux Remedy Report at www.refluxrememdy.com today!