Previously published in Examiner
Part 8 of the GERD series
Many Montrealers suffer from GERD, or Gastroesophageal reflux disease. This disease is chronic, meaning people suffer from it for many years. Perhaps you suffer from it yourself of you know a person or two who is drinking Pepto-Bismol like it is soda pop.
Montrealers will go to their family doctors or walk in clinic if they are concerned about GERD. The doctor will then refer them to a gastroenterologist. If you prefer a private clinic you can try: The Montreal Clinic J.S. Benhamron for Gastroenterology, the consultation is covered by medicare.
Frequent heartburn may be a symptom of a condition called acid reflux disorder, or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). When you go to a Montreal doctor, he or she may be able to diagnose your condition from the symptoms you describe, or the doctor may run more tests just to be certain.
The typical tests for Gerd include:
Ambulatory acid (pH) probe tests will determine when stomach acid is present in the esophagus and how long it remains there. Your doctor may ask you to stop your GERD medication while this test is being conducted. This acid test is done by inserting a tube through the nose all the way down the esophagus. This tube is connected on the outside by a monitor which is attached around your waist, or it may be attached at the shoulder. Another way to attach the monitor is to use a clip that is inserted directly into the esophagus. The clip will transfer images and will slip off in about two days and pass through your feces.
Esophageal motility testing
Esophageal motility testing is another test where a tube (catheter) is inserted down the nose to measure pressure and any movement of the esophagus.
These tests do sound scary but they are not painful. The technician is well trained and you will be given a narcotic to avoid any possible discomfort as well as a sedative to help you relax. The technicians will monitor your heart rate, blood pressure, and blood oxygen throughout the procedure to make sure you are okay. You will also be given oxygen so don’t worry; you will still be able to breath. After the procedure is performed the nose and throat may be a bit sore, and it is possible to have some bleeding from some of the tests.