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Esophagitis

👤by MedicineNet.com 0 comments 🕔Friday, June 27th, 2014

Esophagitis is a term used to describe inflammation of the esophagus, which is the tube that connects the throat to the stomach. There are several types of esophagitis depending on the cause. Esophagitis can be caused by infection, irritation of the esophagus, or inflammation of the lining of the esophagus.

Esophagitis can be caused by infection or irritation of the esophagus.

Infections of the esophagus can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi, including:

One of the main causes of esophageal irritation is reflux of stomach acid. There are several causes for reflux:

Medical treatments for other problems can also cause esophageal irritation.

Surgery, including certain types of bariatric (weight loss) surgery, can lead to increased risk of esophagitis. Medications such as aspirin and other anti-inflammatory drugs can irritate the lining of the esophagus, and also cause increased acid production in the stomach that can lead to acid reflux. Large pills taken with too little water or just before bedtime can dissolve or get stuck in the esophagus, causing irritation. Radiation to the chest (thorax), for cancer treatment can cause burns leading to scarring and inflammation of the esophagus.

Esophagitis and Esophageal Cancer

Esophageal cancer: A malignant tumor of the esophagus. The risk of cancer of the esophagus is increased by long-term irritation of the esophagus, such as from smoking, heavy alcohol intake, and Barrett esophagitis. Very small tumors in the esophagus usually do not cause symptoms. As a tumor grows, the most common symptom is difficulty in swallowing. There may be a feeling of fullness, pressure, or burning as food passes down the esophagus. Cancer of the esophagus can also cause indigestion, heartburn, vomiting, and frequent choking on food. Because of these problems, weight loss is common. Esophageal cancer can be diagnosed through a barium X-ray study of the esophagus and endoscopy and biopsy of the tumor. Treatment includes chemotherapy and sometimes surgery.

SOURCE:MedTerms.com.

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