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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?
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What are the symptoms of esophagitis?
Symptoms of esophagitis include:
- Difficult and/or painful swallowing
- A feeling of food getting stuck on the way down
- Heartburn, acid reflux
- Unpleasant taste in mouth
- Sore throat, hoarseness, or cough
- Mouth sores
- Nausea, vomiting
- 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)
How is esophagitis diagnosed?
A gastroenterologist (a doctor who specializes in treatment of disorders of the gastrointestinal tract) may order specialized tests to look for the cause and extent of the esophagitis. These tests include:
- Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD): An endoscope is used to directly examine the esophagus, stomach and first part of the intestines. In addition, tissue samples can be obtained (biopsy) to assess the severity of the damage to the esophagus.
- Esophageal manometry: this test is used to measure the pressure inside the lower part of the esophagus. A thin, pressure-sensitive tube is passed through the mouth or nose and into the stomach, which is then pulled slowly back into the esophagus. Patients are asked to swallow, and the pressure of the muscle contractions is measured along several sections of the tube.
- Upper GI series or barium swallow is a test where X-rays are taken of the esophagus after drinking a barium solution. Barium coats the lining of the esophagus and appears white on an X-ray, and can show the location and extent of damage to the esophagus.