We have all experienced the occasional burning sensation or a sour taste in the mouth after a heavy meal. This is usually acid reflux aka heartburn. It occurs mainly because there is literally no place for the acidic contents in the stomach to go but up into the esophagus. It is a very common condition in the United States and is often the result of overeating, smoking, too much of salt and too little of fiber in the diet, and low-levels of physical activity.
If the acid reflux occurs more than 2 or 3 times a week, you could be suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This is a potentially serious condition as regular acid reflux could damage or cause precancerous changes in the esophagus. It is also well documented that severe acid reflux symptoms can closely resemble a heart attack. So how can you be sure whether the chest pain you have is just mild indigestion or something more sinister?
Doctors can now accurately diagnose acid reflux with Bravo pH. Bravo pH is a patient-friendly, capsule-based test that can identify acid reflux. Using an endoscope, a small capsule is temporarily attached to your esophagus. This capsule measures the pH level in the esophagus. Data is collected over a couple of days which allows your doctor to determine the duration and frequency of the flow of acid up into the esophagus. This test can be used to confirm a diagnosis of gastroesophageal reflux disease.
A unique advantage of the Bravo pH is its catheter-free design. The pH data from the capsule is transmitted wirelessly to a recorder that can be worn on a waistband or shoulder strap. You can take the recorder off while showering or sleeping without interrupting the test. Thus, the Bravo pH allows you the convenience of continuing with your routine activities of daily living while evaluating your acid reflux. If you’re experiencing persistent acid reflux, ask us about Bravo pH.
At Greater Houston Gastroenterology, we provide specialized services and treatments for a wide range of gastrointestinal conditions. Our dedicated clinical staff and physician assistants are available to assist in delivering high-quality treatment and expert care. As the largest GI group in the greater Houston area, we offer 17 locations for your convenience.