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The first step to diagnosing GERD is a full checkup and complete medical history. During the checkup, it is important to tell your doctor about the frequency of your heartburn symptoms. Many people with GERD experience no symptoms.
We have many advanced testing methods that can help accurately diagnose GERD and measure the level of damage to your esophagus. These include:
24-hour esophageal pH study which measures acid reflux levels in the esophagus using a tube with an acid (pH) sensor at the tip, or the Bravo® pH Monitoring Capsule
Barium swallow (esophagram) also called an upper GI series, is an X-ray of the digestive tract using a special dye (barium) to show narrowing (stricture) and other abnormalities. Learn more about barium swallow.
Esophageal manometry testing measures movement and pressure in the esophagus with a small tube through your nose
Impedance test measures how liquid moves from your stomach to your esophagus.
Proton pump inhibitor (PPI) trial therapy: Temporarily going on special medication to control the amount of acid your stomach produces. If you feel better after being on PPI, it is likely you have GERD.
Upper endoscopy using a long, thin tube (endoscope) and a tiny camera to perform a visual exam of the lining of the esophagus and stomach. Tissue samples may also be taken during the test to examine under a microscope. Learn more about endoscopy.
Treatment for GERD
Long-term exposure to stomach acid damages the lining of your esophagus and can lead to precancerous conditions, such as Barrett's esophagus. If you are suffering from frequent heartburn, see your doctor about a GERD diagnosis so you can find the correct treatment and start feeling better. Learn more about treatments for GERD.
Clinical trials are research studies that evaluate a new medical approach, device, drug, or other treatment. As a Stanford Health Care patient, you may have access to the latest, advanced clinical trials.
Open trials refer to studies currently accepting participants. Closed trials are not currently enrolling, but may open in the future.