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- Facts and definition of esophagitis
- What is esophagitis?
- What are the signs and symptoms of esophagitis?
- What are the types of esophagitis?
- What causes esophagitis?
- What are the grades of esophagitis?
- Which specialties of doctors treat esophagitis?
- How is esophagitis diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for esophagitis?
- What about esophagitis and diet?
- What options are there for pain relief for esophagitis?
- What are the complications of esophagitis?
- Can esophagitis be prevented?
- What is the prognosis for a person with esophagitis?
Quick GuideDigestive Disorders: Common Misconceptions
What are the signs and symptoms of esophagitis?
Symptoms of esophagitis include:
- Difficult and/or painful swallowing
- A feeling of food getting stuck on the way down
- Acid reflux
- Unpleasant taste in mouth
- Sore throat
- Mouth sores
- Abdominal pain or indigestion
- Chest pain, in the middle of the chest, often radiating to the back, usually associated with swallowing or occurring soon after a meal
- Bad breath (halitosis)
What are the types of esophagitis?
There are several types of esophagitis.
- Reflux esophagitis is caused by a reflux of stomach acid into the esophagus. This can lead to erosive esophagitis.
- Infectious esophagitis is caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungus.
- Barrett's esophagus results from untreated inflammation of the esophagus that can cause changes in the type of cells that make up the inner lining (mucosa) of the esophagus. Barrett's esophagus increases the risk for esophageal cancer.
- Eosinophilic esophagitis is inflammation of the esophagus due to an increase in the number of a type of white blood cells (eosinophils) in the lining of the esophageal wall. It is considered an allergic/immune condition. This leads to dysmotility of the esophagus (the muscles do not work properly to move food through) and difficulty in swallowing. Causes of eosinophilic esophagitis include food allergies, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), parasitic diseases, or inflammatory bowel diseases.
- Behçet's syndrome (also called Behçet's disease) is a form of vasculitis that can cause ulcers in the mouth, esophagus and other parts of the body. This disease is rare in the U.S.
- Graft-versus-host disease is a complication that can occur after a transplant (usually bone marrow transplant) when the newly transplanted cells attack the recipient's body. Esophagitis may occur in this condition.
- Cancer esophagitis may be a symptom of cancer of the esophagus, or metastatic cancer (cancer that started in another part of the body and then spreads to the esophagus).