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
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.