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- What is esophagitis?
- What causes esophagitis?
- What are the types of esophagitis?
- What are the symptoms of esophagitis?
- How is esophagitis diagnosed?
- How is esophagitis treated?
- 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 esophagitis?
Quick GuideDigestive Disease Myths Pictures Slideshow: Common Misconceptions
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.
- 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. 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.
- Behçt'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).