When a patient complains about getting heartburn a lot, doctors often suspect gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD.
You might have avoided going to the doctor over this out of concern that you'd end up with a scope down your throat to find out what's going on. But that may not happen because some doctors now are using a more comfortable test called the bravo test.
"We're actually implanting a meter that will measure the acid that comes from the stomach into the esophagus and it will measure it now for the next 48 hours," said Dr. Allen Rubin, a Gastroenterologist.
"I do feel tight right in here and it kind of feels like I've swallowed an ice cube," said Stacy Keck a GERD patient.
The device transmits its readings to a recorder that is worn like a pager and it shows the doctors exactly what's going on inside. Turns out Stacy is like a lot of patients who are not showing internal damage yet, but if not treated, it could lead to ulcers or even cancer years down the road.
Dr. Rubin says the new bravo test is a sensitive, non-invasive way to get answers so you can determine what's the best treatment to prevent problems later on. And if you're wondering how you get that little device out after it does its homework, it leaves on its own the natural way.
So, if you are a chronic heartburn sufferer who has avoided medical attention, you might ask your doctor about the bravo test so you can find a way to take control of the problem.