Esophageal pH monitoring is a procedure for measuring the reflux (regurgitation or backwards splashing) of acid from the stomach into the esophagus that occurs in gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). pH is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution.
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Esophageal pH monitoring is used to diagnose GERD effects, to determine the effectiveness of medications that have been given to prevent acid reflux, and to determine if episodes of acidic reflux are causing chest pain. It also can be used to determine if acid is reaching the pharynx (lower throat) and is potentially responsible for such symptoms as persistent cough, hoarseness and sore throat.
Seven days before your appointment, do not take proton pump inhibitors: Prilosec (omeprazole), Prevacid (lansoprazole), Aciphex (rabeprazole), Protonix (pantoprazole), Nexium (esomeprazole).
Two days (48 hours) before the monitoring period, do not take the H2 blockers: Zantac (ranitidine), Tagamet (cimetidine), Pepcid (famotidine), Axid (nizatidine); or the promotility drug, Reglan (metoclopramide).
Six hours before you begin, do not take antacids: Alka-Seltzer, Gaviscon, Maalox, Milk of Magnesia, Mylanta, Phillips, Riopan, Tums or any other brands.
Six hours before your appointment do not eat or drink. Your healthcare provider will tell you when to begin fasting.
The above list is a typical recommendation. If your doctor’s instructions differ from this list, you should follow his or her guidelines. For example, your physician may want you to continue taking a certain medication during the monitoring period to determine its effectiveness.
A thin, small tube with an acid sensing device is gently passed through your nose, down the esophagus and positioned about 2 inches above the lower esophageal sphincter. The tube is secured to the side of your face with clear tape. The end of the tube coming out from your nose is attached to a portable recording device that is worn on your belt or over your shoulder. A nurse will review the monitoring instructions with you so that you understand which buttons you should use and when to use them.
During the monitoring period, go about your regular daily activities including your normal eating and drinking. This will enable the device to accurately record a typical day to provide your physician with quality data to assess your condition and treatment. If there are foods that commonly aggravate your condition, be sure to include those in your diet during the monitoring period. Unless otherwise instructed, take your normal medications.
Do not chew gum, or suck on hard candy or lozenges during the monitoring period.
Do not take a tub bath or shower, or go swimming. The recorder cannot get wet.
Be sure to record the information as instructed and make note of anything you feel may be helpful. If you experience any unexpected symptoms, call our office immediately.
After 24 hours, you will return to our office to have the tube removed. If your throat is sore, you may now suck on a lozenge. (Keep in mind that you cannot have gum, hard candy or lozenges DURING the monitoring period.) You will be provided with feedback after the data has been evaluated.