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Home :: Digestive Disorders

Esophagitis - eosinophilic, erosive, reflux, barretts esophagitis symptom treatment info


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Esophagitis condition consists of damage to the mucous membrane as a result of reflux of stomach contents into the food pipe due to a weak lower esophageal sphincter. Eosinophilic esophagitis is more common among individuals with other allergic conditions such as asthma, hay fever, allergic rhinitis, and atopic dermatitis. In rare instances, a condition known as "Barrett's esophagus" may develop, which is a risk factor for cancer of the esophagus.

Esophagitis (or "Oesophagitis") is inflammation of the esophagus . Esophagitis can be caused by other conditions also. The most common cause of esophagitis is acid reflux which most frequently results in hearburn , though acid reflux also can cause ulcers on the inner lining of the esophagus. Less frequent causes of esophagitis include infectious esophagitis (in patients who are immunocompromised), radiation esophagitis, and esophagitis from direct erosive effects of ingested medication or corrosive agents .These include an infection that can develop in individuals with weakened immune systems, such as caused by HIV or certain medications such as corticosteroids. Thus, large number of eosinophils can accumulate in tissues such as the esophagus, the stomach, the small intestine , and sometimes in the blood when individuals are exposed to an allergen . The allergen(s) that causes eosinophilic esophagitis is not known. Whether the condition is caused by the irritation from reflux of stomach contents or by infection, in either case the tissues of the esophagus become inflamed. This inflammation is known as esophagitis If left untreated, this condition can become very uncomfortable, causing problems with swallowing, ulcers and scarring of the esophagus. It is not even knownwhether the allergen is inhaled or ingested.

Esophagitis is a general term for any inflammation, irritation, or swelling of the esophagus, the tube that leads from the back of the mouth to the stomach. Gastric acid, pepsin, and bile irritate the squamous epithelium, leading to erosion and ulceration of esophageal mucosa. Eventually, a columnar epithelial lining may develop. This lining is a premalignant condition termed Barrett esophagus. The most significant cause of acid reflux is gastroesophageal reflux disease. Other causes of reflux are hernias, vomiting, medications and surgery. The contraction of the muscles helps push food from the mouth to the stomach for digestions. Esophagitis is a condition in which the esophagus becomes inflamed (swollen, irritated and red). Doctors believe that eosinophilic esophagitis is a type of esophagitis that is caused by alergy just like asthma , hay fever , allergic rhinitis, and atopic dermatitis even though the exact substance that is causing the allergy is not known.

Causes of Esophagitis

The common Causes of Esophagitis :

  • The most common cause is gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). If caused by GERD, the diseases is also called reflux esophagitis .
  • Alcohol, coffee, chocolate, fatty or spicy foods
  • Smoking
  • Chemical injury by alkaline or acid solutions may also cause esophagitis, and is usually seen in children or in adults who attempt suicide .
  • You have a higher risk for esophagitis if you have had excessive vomiting, surgery or radiation to the chest (such as in lung cancer), or if you take medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, potassium, alendronate, and doxycycline.
  • Persons with weakened immune systems due to HIV and certain medications (such as corticosteroids) may develop infections that lead to esophagitis.
  • Like Candida, this viral infection can develop in the esophagus when the body's immune system is weak. It is treatable with antiviral drugs.
  • Other causes of esophagitis include infections (most commonly candida , herpes simplex and cytomegalovirus ). These infections are typically seen in immunocompromised people, such as those with AIDS .
  • Physical injury resulting from radiation therapy or by nasogastric tubes may also be responsible.

Symptoms of Esophagitis

Some are common Symptoms of Esophagitis :

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Vomiting
  • Painful swallowing
  • Nausea
  • Heartburn (acid reflux)
  • A feeling of something of being stuck in the throat
  • Oral lesions (herpes)
  • May have Candida in the mouth (oral thrush, with white mouth sores )
  • Burning sensation in the esophagus

Treatment of Esophagitis

Here is the list of the methods for treating Esophagitis :

  • Proton pump inhibitors, which reduce the production of acid in the stomach by acting on cells in the stomach wall that make acid and release it into the stomach. '
  • The objective of treatment is to eliminate the infection with antifungal medications, such as fluconazole. Amphotericin B may be used if other treatment fails.
  • Medications to reduce acid if gastroesophageal reflux disease is the cause.
  • Oxygen is generally indicated when the cause of the pain is uncertain.
  • Prokinetic agents, which work by increasing the ability of the stomach to empty.
  • Intravenous (by vein) nutrition to allow the esophagus to heal, to reduce the likelihood of malnourishment or dehydration
  • Avoiding certain drugs (e.g., anticholinergics), specific foods (fats, chocolate), and smoking, all of which lower esophageal sphincter competence
  • Medications to reduce acid if gastroesophageal reflux disease is the cause.