WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GERD AND HEARTBURN?
Heartburn is a common symptom that many if not all adults experience from time to time. You might notice that the symptoms last for several hours and are triggered by eating certain foods, like soda, coffee, chocolate, tomatoes, or spicy food. If heartburn is infrequent, it’s bothersome but not a cause for concern. However, if you are experiencing heartburn twice a week or more, food sticking, or blood loss or weight loss, you may be suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
GERD is a serious condition in which the acid from the stomach flows up the esophagus. Excessive amounts of acid reflux into the esophagus can lead to troubling and concerning symptoms. In fact, if you are experiencing the following symptoms, you should make an appointment with us right away for an exam:
- Acid reflux or nausea
- Frequent heartburn (twice a week or more)
- Severe indigestion
THE BRAVO PH MONITORING TEST
Once you present to us with these symptoms, Dr. Donepudi may order a 24- to 48-hour pH monitoring test, known as Bravo. This is the first catheter-free pH monitoring system, and it’s used to diagnose heartburn and GERD. You’ll be able to continue your normal diet and activities without experiencing the throat and nasal discomfort that come with a catheter-based pH system. Meanwhile, the doctor will be able to assess your symptoms and determine how much and how often acid is refluxing into the esophagus.
How It Works
Dr. Donepudi will attach a pH capsule (about the size of a gelcap) to your esophagus. You’ll wear a pager-sized receiver on your belt or waistband. This capsule will measure the pH in your esophagus and transmit the data to the receiver. Keep in mind that you will be expected to record any reflux symptoms you experience while lying down or eating in a diary. This diary combined with the Bravo system will be examined in order to complete the diagnosis.
THE SOONER YOU GET DIAGNOSED, THE BETTER
GERD is a serious condition that can lead to long-term pain and symptoms if left untreated. Pain can be so severe that it can resemble a heart attack. You might also develop Barrett’s esophagus or even esophageal cancer.
There’s no reason to live in pain and discomfort. A diagnosis can help you get the treatment you need to live a more comfortable life. Call Dr. Donepudi today and request an appointment. We’re here to help!