Testing for Acid Reflux

There is no easy, inexpensive , un-invasive or especially accurate means of testing for Reflux. Most doctors generally look at symptoms and then suggest either home treatments (for example changing feeding and sleeping positions), natural remedies or medication and see if anything works. If the symptoms improve then treatment continues, however if the symptoms persist or worsen then tests are often necessary.


The tests that can be performed are as follows:

  • Contrast radiography - like a barium meal
  • Scintigraphy- like a "milk scan"
  • Endoscopy and biopsy
  • Oesophageal impedance monitoring
  • pH Probe

If you are looking for more scientific information about Reflux and GORD (Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease), an excellent article worth reading is, by the South African Paediatrician Dr A Terblanche (MMed(Paeds), FCP, DipAllerg, Cert Gastroenterology(Paeds)Paediatric Gastroenterologist, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Pretoria) outlining the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of Reflux in infants, in the South African Pharmaceutical Journal (2011 Volume 78 no.7). Click here. 

Another article of interest, covering the same topic is from The American Family Physician. Click here.


The information in this article was reviewed for medical accuracy by, Paediatrician and Allergy Specialist, Dr Claudia Gray (MBChB (UCT), MRCPCH (London), MScClin Pharm(Surrey), DipPaedNutrition (UK), PostgradDipAllergy (Southampton), Certified Paediatric Allergologist (SA))

Dr Gray works at the allergy clinic at the Red Cross Children's Hospital in Cape Town, and has a private practice at Vincent Pallotti Hospital in Cape Town, contact 021 531 8013.