Indy Gastro | Colonoscopy, rectal bleeding, diarrhea, constipation, endoscopy

Esophagitis and Stricture

Definition

Esophagitis is inflammation of the tube that delivers food from mouth to stomach (esophagitis).

Causes

  1. Acid Reflux
    1. Smoking: Using any form of tobacco raises the risk of acid reflux and inflammation in the throat. The longer a person uses tobacco, the greater the risk. This inflammation can lead to cancer. 
    2. Drinking alcohol: Drinking alcohol also increases the risk of acid reflux which can lead to esophagitis. This inflammation increases risk of cancer.
    3. Diet: A diet that is aimed at reducing acid reflux can help prevent Esophagitis. These diets limit or avoid fatty foods, alcohol, citrus fruits and juices and mints. As mentioned earlier alcohol and smoking should be limited or avoided. 
  2. Infections: Infections in the esophagus also can cause esophagitis. Only a few types of infection are common in the esophagus If your immune system is weakened, you are more likely to develop esophagitis from yeast (candidal esophagitis) or from viruses
  3. Caustic Agents: Esophagitis can be caused by irritants that are swallowed on inhaled.  These caustic agents often burn the surface of the throat.

Signs and Symptoms

Include trouble swallowing, painful swallowing, feeling like swallowed food is getting stuck in throat, chest pain and nausea and vomiting.

Diagnosis

  1. Treatment Non Medical Treatments:
    1. Elevate the head of your bed with 6-8" blocks or use a bed wedge to elevate your chest and head. (This allows us to use gravity to keep the acid contents of the stomach in the stomach while sleeping; just using extra pillows is not adequate).
    2. Nothing to eat for three hours prior to bedtime. (This reduces the volume of stomach contents at bedtime.)
    3. Do not lie down for at least three hours after meals. (This decreases reflux at a time when the stomach is most full and has the most acid.)
  2. Antacids: Medications can be used to lower the acid in the stomach. This can lead to less reflux into throat. Medications may also be used to treat the inflammation in order to relieve symptoms.

Stricture Definition

An esophageal stricture is a narrowing of this tube often causing difficulty swallowing.

Stricture Treatment

A narrowing in the esophagus (throat) can often be relieved with an upper endoscopy procedure that combines an exam and a dilatation. The throat is stretched with instruments that can widen the tube diameter.   Sometimes this stretching must be repeated to get best relief.

Summary

Inflammation and stricture in the esophagus or throat can make it hard to swallow and it may feel as if food is getting stuck.  Often this condition is related to acid reflux conditions. Treatments are available to help relieve this condition; strictures of the esophagus may often return that treatments will need to be repeated.

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    Suites 150 & 200
    Indianapolis, IN 46237

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