Detecting Acid Reflux

Darlene VanHoose loves her pizza. But it doesn't love her.

"I would have coughing spasms because of the acid coming up into my throat. Just a general miserable feeling," VanHoose says.

Dan Lamar knows her pain!

"I couldn't breathe. I literally was having shortness of breath. My vocal chords were so inflamed that they were constricting my airways," Lamar recalls.

For both VanHoose and Lamar, their acid reflux was more than just a little heartburn. But it was misdiagnosed time and time again. Until now, there was no good way to detect it.

Through the new Restech device, Ronald Simon, M.D., an allergist at the Scripps Clinic in San Diego, can detect acid reflux much more easily. And it's more comfortable for the patient. A thin tube is connected to a transmitter.

"Amazingly, at the end of this tube, there's a tiny little bulb," Dr. Simon says.

The bulb is a pH meter. It's inserted into the nose, resting in the back of the throat. The pH meter on the end of the tube picks up any signs of acid.

"This plots all the acid data on a graph and we know exactly when they were eating, when they were upright, when they were sleeping so we can correlate when the acid is in their throat and what is happening in their life," Dr. Simon explains.

It's worn for 24 hours or less -- every moment logged by a touch of a button. The Restech device helped diagnose Lamar's acid reflux. With a few lifestyle and nutritional changes, he's feeling much better.

"Walking around campus, I'm not short of breath," Lamar says.

A life-changing device that could help millions get the treatment they need.

Many times, acid reflux is misdiagnosed as allergies. That's why this device will help take the guessing game out of a diagnosis and get patients feeling better without a lot of unnecessary medications. Restech is 95 percent predictive of acid reflux. It's important to diagnose acid reflux early because patients can make lifestyle modifications and get started on the right medicines.


Ronald Simon, M.D.
Scripps Clinic

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