ESOPHAGITIS: TYPES, COMMON SYMPTOMS, CAUSES, AND TREATMENT OPTIONS
January 25, 2022

What is Esophagitis?

Esophagitis is an inflammation that may damage the tissues of the esophagus. It makes it difficult to swallow food and can be caused by infection, allergies, oral medications, etc.

What is Eosinophilic Esophagitis?

This is a chronic immune system disease. Here, eosinophil (a type of white blood cell) builds up in the lining of the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach. This is due to a reaction to allergens, food, or acid reflux and can damage the esophageal tissue. Eosinophilic esophagitis can be very painful and uncomfortable as it can lead to difficulty in swallowing food.

Types of Esophagitis

The common forms of esophagitis are:

  • Eosinophilic Esophagitis
    It is a chronic immune system disease that is caused by too many eosinophils present in the esophagus. This happens when the body over-responds to food or allergens. It can make eating difficult for children. Some common triggers include peanuts, shellfish, tree nuts, milk, etc.
  • Reflux Esophagitis
    This generally happens due to a condition called GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease). It occurs when stomach fluids like acids back up into the esophagus frequently and can cause chronic inflammation of the esophagus.
  • Drug-Induced Esophagitis
    This can occur when a person takes certain medications without sufficient water. This can cause medications to linger in the esophagus for too long. Such medications include potassium chloride, antibiotics, etc.
  • Infectious Esophagitis
    It is a rare condition that can be caused by viruses, fungi, bacteria, or parasites. You can be at a high risk from this type of esophagitis if your immune system is weakened by medications or diseases. Infectious esophagitis is common in people with AIDS, cancer, diabetes, or HIV.

Symptoms of Esophagitis

  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Heartburn
  • Acid reflux
  • Chest pain
  • Food getting stuck in the esophagus

Causes of Esophagitis

  • Medicines like aspirin or other anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDS)
  • Allergies
  • Medical procedures like radiation therapy
  • Chronic vomiting

Also read: MYCOTOXINS TOXICITY: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

How is Esophagitis Diagnosed?

  • Barium X-ray: After the patient drinks a barium solution (barium coats the lining of the esophagus and makes it visible on x-ray), an x-ray is taken of the esophagus. This allows the doctor to view any abnormality in the esophagus.
  • Endoscopy: A flexible, long, and lighted tube (endoscope) is used to view the esophagus.
  • Biopsy: A mini sample of the esophageal tissue is removed and sent to the lab for examination under a microscope.

How Long Does Esophagitis Last?

In most cases, healthy people take around two to four weeks to improve with proper treatment.
Also read: Osteoporosis: Symptoms, Causes, Prevention & Treatment

What is the Fastest Way to Treat Esophagitis?

The treatment for esophagitis mainly lessens the symptoms, manage complications, and treats the main cause for it. Treatment can vary depending on the cause of the disorder.

Are you suffering from esophagitis and need treatment? We at the Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine have a group of experts at your service. Call us at 843-572-1600 to book an appointment now.