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Diagnosing Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

What a Doctor May Prescribe


Updated November 11, 2010

Occasional heartburn is harmless. About 20% of all adults will have heartburn at least once a month. It's when the heartburn becomes chronic that it can mean that something more serious is going on.

If you suffer from chronic heartburn, you may also have Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. But how do you find out if you do have GERD?

Your doctor may be able to tell if you have GERD from the symptoms you have. If your symptoms are fairly mild, your doctor may try treatment in an attempt to ease your symptoms. Over-the-counter antacids may bring relief from heartburn and acid reflux. If symptoms continue, a proton-pump inhibitor, a medication such as Prilosec (omeprazole) that blocks stomach acid secretion, can bring relief in the majority of patients with GERD.

Sometimes, however, laboratory or other tests may be required if your doctor is still uncertain of the diagnosis. Testing is also done if the doctor suspects complications, such as Barrett's esophagus, or if the patient experience such things as bleeding or difficulty in swallowing.

There are several tests that can be performed.

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  6. Diagnosing Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease - Tests Used For Diagnosing Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

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