The test is about
18 hours in. The probe leaves me with a slight "scratched" sensation inside the nostril it's been placed in, but otherwise it seems to be ok. I'm certainly not gagging anymore unless I speak - I recommend anyone who takes this test speak as little as possible. My consultant recommended the same, as it makes you gag or can simply hurt to speak. You don't want to accidentally shift the probe out of place from gagging it up again, slim a chance as there is of that happening!
The irony is, while on this test many of my symptoms are less frequent, like the nausea, burping and sickly taste. However that isn't too say they are totally absent, which means these results will be valid in the long run. I have read in research articles that the pH shouldn't go below 5.5 when you are upright, or below 5 when you're lying down, but this has to be taken with a pinch of salt. For example, one study showed healthy participants had "reflux episodes" recorded overnight although no actual reflux took place. Sometimes even swallowing may do this, although such a thing has yet to happen for me as far as I know. My readings certainly were lower while I was lying on my right side - since there's no restrictions to my activities and diet here, I've seized the chance to binge on the bad stuff! The lowest I've seen my pH fall to so far is 5.1 first thing in the morning. Keep in mind though that in a normal situation, my mouth - after hours of no food and only swallowing saliva - has a standard pH of between 6.0 and 6.7. This amount tends to suddenly jump up and down a lot, but this kind of value is apparantly normal in some people as far as I know, and it could be that my results only sank to a low number because my saliva is slightly acidic in the first place. It certainly scared me to see a number so low, but I have no idea what my values are while I was asleep yet.
Some things I have observed so far:
- Breathing through my mouth greatly affects the pH reading, even if only briefly. I assume that the water content of the air around me is to blame, and therefore the dampness of my room at night may have played a part in lowering my pH reading slightly.
- I'm pretty sure whatever I "burp up" is reaching the probe, as it pratically lands on my tongue. The pH so far has only slightly dropped by 0.1/0.2 at a time when this happens. Actually, it seems to drop more when I drink tap water or have no symptoms at all!
- I still have the "vomit" smell and a taste like baked beans from time to time. Neither has significantly affected the pH so far.
- Excercise has no true effect on my readings. Sometimes they rise, sometimes they fall.
- Saliva only raises my pH readings by 0.1 - 0.3, and even then only briefly while the swallowing is complete.
- During one incident, my pH dropped when I drank water, and raised to 7 for one of the first times during the entire test upon eating a banana.
I'm not sure if post nasal drip or suchlike would affect the results, but if it did I doubt I would've had the low numbers I observed first thing in the morning when I had plenty of throat mucus. That'll be just one of my many questions for the consultant when the follow-up appointment is organised. In the meantime, I've been worried my symptoms will return in full-force once the probe is gone! To counter this, my consultant has discussed organising a 24 hour impedence study and manometry for me within the next few months.
Any thoughts so far would be greatly appreciated. I'll post again tomorrow with more, and I'll also post about
the end of the test.
Post Edited (Daxter) : 4/2/2014 7:27:41 AM (GMT-6)