Esophagitis

February 2017


Definition


Esophagitis is an inflammation of the lining of the esophagus, which renders swallowing very painful. There are many causes of esophagitis, namely:
  • Infectious esophagitis: usually caused by a virus (herpes), a fungus (Candida) or more rarely a bacterium;
  • caustic esophagitis: due to the ingestion of caustics, who have the ability to destroy tissue: they are acids, bases, such as soda or bleach;
  • esophagitis due to medications;
  • reflux esophagitis due to the acidity of digestive juices in the case of gastro-oesophageal reflux.

Inflammatory esophagitis can become hemorrhagic or cancerous. Drug treatment and a healthy lifestyle can provide good results. In case of failure, surgery is possible.

Symptoms


Pain in the upper abdomen burns up from the stomach and all the way to the mouth. The patient complains of acid referrals and sometimes coughing, particularly at night, especially in cases of peptic esophagitis. Infectious esophagitis due to Candida can be strongly suspected if oral candidiasis is found. In caustic esophagitis, mouth sores (ulcers) are often visible.

Diagnosis


An endoscopy is essential to view the different lesions and their severity: upper gastrointestinal duodenal endoscopy. The latter determines the extent of damage and sometimes cause. The practitioner may prescribe additional tests such as a measuring of the esophageal acidity by manometry, which lets you know the pressure of the lower esophageal muscle (sphincter) or other biopsy (tissue).

Treatment


The treatment of esophagitis imperatively includes quitting smoking, weight loss and a specific diet eliminating alcohol, fatty foods, acidic food, and those with high fermentation, since all these factors may enhance or maintain inflammation. The treatment of the cause is essential, such as an anti-infective therapy in infectious esophagitis. It is recommended that the patient sleep in a semi-recumbent position to avoid acid reflux in cases of peptic esophagitis. If gastric dressings, anti-acids and inhibitors are not enough, surgery may be considered.

Related

Original article published by . Translated by Jeff. Latest update on July 24, 2013 at 06:10 AM by Jeff.
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