Esophagitis

  • Medical Author:
    John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

    John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.

  • Medical Editor: Bhupinder Anand, MD
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Can esophagitis be prevented?

Some types of esophagitis can be prevented.

  • Esophagitis caused by GERD may be prevented by changes in lifestyle and diet.
  • Proper oral hygiene can aid in prevention of esophagitis caused by the Candida yeast.
  • Take all pills with plenty of water, and in an upright position.

What is the prognosis for esophagitis?

The prognosis for esophagitis often depends on the underlying cause.

Esophagitis caused by infection or inflammation is generally treatable with medications, diet or behavioral changes and in some cases, surgery. Most people can recover fully, while some have chronic inflammation that is managed with long-term medical treatment.

Esophagitis caused by reflux, while often manageable, can recur frequently. Many patients who have reflux require medication or other treatment to prevent relapses.

A significant percentage of people with GERD go on to develop Barrett's esophagus. Very few of patients with Barrett's esophagus develop cancer. A gastroenterologist should monitor patients who have Barrett's esophagus.

The outlook for patients with eosinophilic esophagitis is favorable. It is a chronic, relapsing condition, but not usually one that is life-threatening. Treatments are evolving using different immune modulators to decrease the allergy-like reactions.

Achalasia is a progressive, but treatable disorder. Patients must be closely monitored by a gastroenterologist. A small number of individuals with achalasia may develop squamous cell cancer (carcinoma) as a result.

Medically reviewed by Avrom Simon, MD; Board Certified Preventative Medicine with Subspecialty in Occupational Medicine

REFERENCES:

Cancer.org. Esophagus Cancer.

eMedicineHealth.com. Esophagitis.

MedscapeReference.com. Esophagitis.

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskelatal Skin Diseases. What Is Behçet's Disease?

NDDIC. Barrett's Esophagus.

WebMD.com. Treating Acid Reflux Disease With Diet and Lifestyle Changes.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/23/2016
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