Your doctor may order a number of tests to help diagnose your child’s
condition. He will want to rule out anatomical problems that might becausing the reflux.
The first thing that gets ruled out is Pyloric Stenosis. If baby is projectile vomiting, then s/he will be checked, usually by a sonogram/ultrasound. If baby is not projectile vomiting, then it’s not (usually) considered.
Another test that is often done is an Upper GI. It also can be referred to as a Barium Swallow or Barium test.
The Upper GI, is good to look for structural abnormalities. It is *not* good to verify reflux: it is a snapshot in time, if you were, so if baby doesn’t happen to reflux at that particular time of the test, then a dr might be quick to dismiss you & tell you reflux isn’t there/isn’t bad.
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On this page, you will find information about What to Expect regarding:
Swallow Study (modified barium swallow or videofluoroscopic swallow evaluation)
Scope: EGD, Esophagogastroduodenoscopy
Barium Swallow/Upper GI
The way to show reflux is a ph probe, where the actual length (duration) & frequency (how often) of reflux episodes are recorded and the acidity is measured, too.
A PH probe will give you a ton of information; it will tell you more than just that your baby has severe GERD.
A ph probe will tell you how mnay reflux episodes she has, how acidic the reflux episodes are and whether or not she is having prolonged episodes, which do more damage. It will also tell you her overall percentage of reflux.
A child could have 200 very brief episodes of relux and have very little damage because each episode is so brief, or, a child could have only 97 episodes of reflux, but have several of them be long episodes—over 7 minutes long—–and have a lot of esophageal damage.
A ph probe would not necessarily be one of the first things a doctor orders. It is usually conducted after a period of time, after diet and medicine has been given a (long) chance to work/help show improvement.
How Do Doctors Diagnose Gastroesophageal Reflux?
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