Diagnosing Dysphagia In addition to giving you a complete physical exam and taking a detailed medical history, a doctor may use tests to determine what's causing dysphagia. These may include: Barium X-ray - For this test, you drink a special solution that coats the inside of your esophagus, allowing it to show up better on X-rays. Your doctor can then see changes in the shape of your esophagus and can assess the muscular activity. Endoscopy - A thin, flexible, lighted instrument (endoscope) is passed down your throat so that your doctor can view your esophagus. Esophageal Muscle Test - In this test, called a small tube is inserted into your esophagus and connected to a pressure recorder. This allows muscle contractions of your esophagus to be measured as you swallow.