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Esophageal pH Test for Heartburn and Acid Reflux


What Should I Do During the Esophageal pH Test?

  • Activity. Try to follow your usual routine during the esophageal pH test. Many people tend to reduce or change their activities during the monitoring period. However, such changes can affect reflux occurrence and make the results of the monitoring period less useful. Please note: Do not take a bath or shower during the monitoring period to avoid getting the equipment wet.
  • Eating. Eat your regular meals at the usual times and eat the way you normally do. If you do not eat during the monitoring period, your stomach will not produce acid as usual, and the test results will not be accurate. Eat foods that tend to increase your symptoms (without making yourself miserable, of course). You may drink as much plain water as you want.
  • Lying down. Remain upright throughout the day. Do not lie down until you go to bed, unless napping or lying down during the day is part of your normal daily routine.
  • Medications. Continue following your doctor's recommendations regarding which medications to avoid during the esophageal pH test.

What Information Should I Record During the Esophageal pH Test?

  • Record your primary symptoms, as discussed with your doctor, by pressing the appropriate buttons on the monitor when the symptoms occur.
  • Record the times when you are eating, drinking anything except water, or lying down (you do not have to be sleeping or intending to sleep when lying down). Record the following:
    • The time when you start eating
    • The time when you finish eating
    • The time when you start lying down
    • The time when you finish lying down

What Happens After the Esophageal pH Test Monitoring Period?

At your next appointment, your doctor will discuss the results of your esophageal pH test with you.

You may resume your normal diet and activities.

You may feel a temporary soreness in your throat. Lozenges may help.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson, MD on August 29, 2014
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