for 1 last update 2020/08/11 EndoscopyEndoscopy
An endoscopy procedure involves inserting a long, flexible tube (endoscope) down your throat and into your esophagus. A tiny camera on the end of the endoscope lets your doctor examine your esophagus, stomach and the beginning of your small intestine (duodenum).
To determine if your heartburn is a symptom of GERD, your doctor may recommend:
- X-ray, to view the shape and condition of your esophagus and stomach.
- Endoscopy, to check for abnormalities in your esophagus. A tissue sample (biopsy) may be taken for analysis.
- Ambulatory acid probe tests, to identify when, and for how long, stomach acid backs up into your esophagus. An acid monitor that is placed in your esophagus connects to a small computer that you wear around your waist or on a strap over your shoulder.
- Esophageal motility testing, to measure movement and pressure in your esophagus.
Many over-the-counter medications can help relieve heartburn. The options include:
- Antacids, which help neutralize stomach acid. Antacids may provide quick relief. But they can''t act as quickly as antacids, but may provide longer relief.
- Proton pump inhibitors, such as lansoprazole (Prevacid 24HR) and omeprazole (Nexium 24HR, Prilosec OTC), which also can reduce stomach acid.
If over-the-counter treatments don''s not possible, insert a wedge between your mattress and box spring to elevate your body from the waist up. Raising your head with additional pillows usually isn''s ability to function properly. Avoid large meals. Instead eat many small meals throughout the day.
Preparing for your appointment
You may be referred to a doctor who specializes in disorders of the digestive system (gastroenterologist).
What you can do
- Be aware of any pre-appointment restrictions, such as not eating solid food on the day before your appointment.
- Write down your symptoms, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason why you scheduled the appointment.
- Make a list of all your medications, vitamins and supplements.
- Write down your key medical information, including other conditions.
- Write down key personal information, including any recent changes or stressors in your life.
- Ask a relative or friend to accompany you, to help you remember what the doctor says.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor.
Questions to ask your doctor
- What''ve prepared to ask your doctor, don''s Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, Management. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2016. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed March 2, 2018.
- Kahrilas PJ. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of gastroesophageal reflux in adults. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed March 2, 2018.
- Warning signs of a heart attack. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HeartAttack/WarningSignsofaHeartAttack/Warning-Signs-of-a-Heart-Attack_UCM_002039_Article.jsp#.WqFIR66nF0w. Accessed March 8, 2018.
- Goldman L, et al., eds. Gastrointestinal endoscopy. In: Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2016. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed March 2, 2018.
- Kahrilas PJ. Pathophysiology of reflux esophagitis. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed March 2, 2018.
- Winter HS. Management of gastroesophageal reflux disease in children and adolescents. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed March 2, 2018.
- Picco MF (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 15, 2018.