PH Impedance Testing
There are multiple types of tests that your gastroenterologist may perform in order to confirm a diagnosis of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or other common gastric conditions. One such assessment is known as the esophageal pH test.
The Purpose of a PH Impedance Test
The entire goal of this test is to monitor the amount of acid flowing out of the stomach and up the esophagus (reflux) during a 24-hour period. By measuring a person’s acid reflux, a gastroenterologist will be able to determine the cause of the individual’s reflux and other painful symptoms such as:
- Chronic coughing
- Chest pain
- Sore throat
How It Works
To begin the assessment, your gastroenterologist will place a thin, flexible catheter through your nasal passage and down your esophagus. You will be asked to swallow small amounts of water in order to ease the placement of this probe.
None of your regular activities such as talking or breathing will be inhibited by the catheter. It is important that you try to comply with your normal routine as much as possible while the probe is tracking your reflux, as this will give your gastroenterologist the clearest depiction of your day-to-day reflux encounters.
Once a day’s worth of data has been gathered, your gastroenterologist will take some time to review the metrics before contacting you about your results. At this point, it will be up to you and your physician to decide what course of treatment is best for your symptoms.
PH Impedance Testing Preparation
Prior to testing, GI Solutions Inc will provide you with clear instructions on how to prepare for your esophageal pH assessment. This typically includes:
- Refraining from any food or drink starting at midnight on the evening before your test.
- Stopping the use of over-the-counter medications that mitigate reflux symptoms. You may also be asked to suspend use of any prescribed medications for your reflux starting at least one week before the pH impedance test.
- Get into the habit of taking notes on foods and drinks you consume, and when you encounter a reaction such as heartburn. It is often asked that patient’s submit a diary of these occurrences along with their probe at the end of the test.
- Taking a shower or bath, as you will be unable to do so while the catheter is in place.
Still Have Questions? Ask a Specialist!
If you have any concerns before, during, or even after your pH impedance test, please contact GI Solutions of Illinois to address them with a specially trained medical professional. You may call (773) 631-2728 or submit a request online using our secure form to inquire about a consultation.