To find out if you have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), your doctor may first ask you questions about your symptoms, such as whether you have a frequent uncomfortable feeling of burning, warmth, heat, or pain just behind the breastbone (heartburn). If you have heartburn often, your doctor may prescribe medicines to treat GERD without doing any other tests.
If medicines don't help, you may have other tests. These may include:
- An upper gastrointestinal endoscopy. This allows your doctor to look at the inner lining of your esophagus , your stomach, and the first part of your small intestine (duodenum) through a thin, flexible viewing tool called an endoscope.
- Esophageal tests. These may be done to find out how well the muscles in the esophagus move food, or to monitor how often acid gets into the esophagus and how long it stays there.
- An upper gastrointestinal series. These X-ray pictures of the esophagus and stomach may help find other problems that may be causing GERD symptoms.