The Family Health Guide

When You Visit Your Doctor - Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

Questions to Discuss with Your Doctor:

  • Do you get a burning sensation in your chest or throat after eating?
  • Do you ever have a bitter or sour taste in your mouth?
  • Do you ever have bloating or nausea after you eat?
  • How often do you get these symptoms?
  • What do you do to relieve the symptoms?
  • Are the symptoms related to physical exertion?
  • Are the symptoms worse when you are lying down or sitting up?
  • Have you noticed any black stools?
  • Do you have a persistent cough?
  • Do you have a history of ulcer disease?
  • Are you taking any medications, especially ones that can irritate the esophagus or stomach, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen or tetracycline?
  • Do you drink alcohol or smoke?
  • How soon after you eat at night do you go to bed?
  • Have you tried any over-the-counter medications? If so, do they help?

Your Doctor Might Examine the Following Body Structures or Functions:

  • Chest and lung exam
  • Abdominal exam

Your Doctor Might Order the Following Lab Tests or Studies:

  • Upper endoscopy (internal examination of the esophagus and stomach)
  • pH probe (to assess the acid level in the esophagus and stomach)
  • Manometry (to measure the pressure of the sphincter between the esophagus and the stomach)
  • Stool testing for blood
  • Complete blood cell count