Ambulatory pH monitoring is an outpatient procedure that is used to diagnose gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
If you're experiencing the symptoms of GERD, which can include heartburn or regurgitation, your board-certified gastroenterologist may recommend ambulatory pH monitoring. It may also be called esophageal pH monitoring.
How does Ambulatory pH monitoring work?
A small catheter (tube) with sensors is placed through your nose into your esophagus during this outpatient procedure - attached to a recording device, it will monitor the pH level (acidity) in your esophagus over a period of 24 hours as you carry on your regular routine.
The number of times you experience symptoms related to GERD and the number of times stomach acid reaches your esophagus are recorded. The probe is then removed, and your results are analyzed and evaluated by your doctor.
What are the common symptoms of GERD?
GERD is a chronic condition that occurs when the digestive contents in your stomach move back up or regurgitate into your esophagus, leading to multiple symptoms that can recur over time.
Symptoms of GERD can include:
- Bad breath
- Chronic sore throat
- Sour belch
- Nausea or vomiting
- Erosion of the surface of your teeth's enamel
- Chest pain
- Difficulty swallowing
- Unexplained cough
- Hoarseness or voice changes
- Throat clearing
Ambulatory pH monitoring is Safe When Performed by a Board-Certified Gastroenterologist
Results indicating reflux of stomach contents into the esophagus from your ambulatory pH monitoring test may indicate the presence of GERD which can be managed by your doctor.