Repeated bouts of heart burn and a sour taste in your throat and mouth are classic symptoms into Gastroesophageal reflux disease, otherwise known as GERD. This can happen due to a large meal, bending over, laying down. Gerd can lead to Cancer if going untreated. But sometimes can be controlled by lifestyle changes, medications, lifting your mattress at head end up, pillows cant lift you enough, bricks can be used as well to help keep the mattress up, decreasing acidic foods, eat sitting up and early evening, decrease your alcohol use, coffee, soda due to the carbonation, spicy foods, if this does not help, you should see your Dr. The Symptoms of Gerd are as follows, Burning feeling in chest (heart burn ), better or sour taste in back in mouth, Belching, pain in the upper abdomen, worsening of the above symptoms when bending over or laying down, chronic cough or hoarseness. Sometimes making simple lifestyle changes can help, but if over the counter meds, loosing weight, increasing the elevation of your head does not help you should see a Dr called a Gastroenterologist. They specialize in the Digestive track ect. If none of this helps, you may need surgery called Laparoscopic fundoplication. This surgery is done laparoscopic procedure is a small telescope attached to a camera so the Doctor can see in your abdomen, the Dr re-creates the one-way valve where the esophagus the tube that food travels through meets the stomach. Any other repairs such as a hiatal hernia can be repaired at this time.
Gerd can progress, inflammation in the esophagus called esophagitis can lead to pain, pressure and burning in your chest and throat, Ulcer, a sore anywhere in the lining of the esophagus can produce pain and bleeding and make it hard to swallow, a Stricture is scarring may develop in the esophagus, making it more difficult to swallow.
Some testing that may be done to help to determine why you have Gerd?
Barium upper GI- As you are swallowing a lovely tasting fluid they xray as you swallow the fluid that has a dye in it they continue the xrays until it reaches your stomach. This test can detect a Hital Hernia. Cant have anything to eat or drink 6-8 hours before test, doesn’t hurt and is a fairly quick test. This test was really yucky I threw up after the test. But I throw up a lot these days.
Esophageal endoscopy- This test requires sedation, you swallow a tube and the probe sends light and images to a screen to see if they see ulcers or any other findings, usually a biopsy is taken at this time as well. again no eating or drinking 6-8 hours before test. This test was not painful and I had just a little sore throat.
Esophageal Manometry- This test is to measure the muscle tone of the esophagus, your nose will be numbed, by sniffing lidocaine liquid out of a syringe, you must take 10 swallow’s of salt water when told and then 10 of applesauce and the tube measures your muscles with each swallow. then the Dr will extract the tube as you blow out your nose. again no food or drink 8-12 hours, test last 30 minutes and you may have a sore nose, throat ect after this test. I will be honest with you this is a hard one, I had to use mind over matter, The lidocaine burned, test made me gag and want to throw up. It was the worst test. I can’t sugar coat it. This one I wanted to cancel from moment one but I knew in order to be fixed they needed these results.
Monitoring Acid in the esophagus- This test a thin tube is placed in your nose again after being numbed and placed down to your stomach and you swallow and help to get down, then hooked up to a machine that you push buttons when you feel certain systems for 24 hours. The tape the tube to you nose and continue the tape down your cheek and neck. This test was pure torture to me. I couldn’t eat at all, its uncomfortable, your nose hurts, esophagus hurts it sucked, I will be honest, This to me was far the worst test ever. you may need the test longer depending on when enough information has been recorded. I might add wearing a button up shirt is a must or you sleep in your shirt. I still haven’t recovered from this test. I had fluid coming out my nose, my eyes, my mouth. I can’t explain the discomfort of this test and if you have to have the test above and this test, demand be done on the same day, meditate if you have to, keep busy do what ever you have to do. In order for the right surgery these have to be done.
You may also have a ultrasound to see if your gallbladder is the problem and if you have gall stones, if that is negative they may pursue further testing on the gallbladders function.
I have had all of these tests, no matter how uncomfortable, these are a must. Any questions please ask. These test are for the better care of your problems and make sure you have the right procedure for you.