May 3, 2022

What Is Esophagitis?

Esophagitis is the general term for inflammation of the esophagus, the tube that delivers food from your mouth to your stomach.

Esophagitis can have several underlying issues such as build-up of the eosinophil white blood cell (Eosinophilic Esophagitis), acid build up in your esophagus, infection, some medications, or allergies.

What are the causes of esophagitis?

Common causes of esophagitis include:

  • Acid reflux
  • Infections
  • Oral medications
  • Allergies
  • Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE)

What Are Common Symptoms Of Esophagitis?

The most common symptoms or signs of esophagitis include:

  • Heartburn
  • Chest pain
  • Food impaction – food getting stuck in the esophagus
  • Difficulty and pain swallowing
  • Acid regurgitation

Signs in young children could include:

  • Difficulty feeding/eating
  • Failure to thrive – not growing at a normal rate, malnutrition, etc.

You should schedule an appointment with your gastroenterologist if symptoms persist past a few days, over the counter heartburn medications are not working, eating is difficult due to pain, or your symptoms are accompanied by flu-like symptoms such as fever, aching, and headache.

What Are The Treatments For Esophagitis?

Treatment for esophagitis focuses on lessening the symptoms of esophagitis in the patient. The treatment strategy varies depending on the cause of the condition.

  • Medications that reduce acid production (antacids)
  • H-2 receptor blockers (prescription strength acid reflux medications)
  • Surgery – to strengthen the esophageal sphincter and reduce acid reflux
  • Steroids
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors
  • Diet Control
  • Change medications (if caused by oral medications)
  • Antivirals
  • Antibiotics
  • Dilation

A primary focus to treat and prevent esophagitis is to diminish acid reflux. This can be accomplished by avoiding foods such as alcohol, caffeine, mint flavored foods, and other foods that trigger your acid reflux

, and the other following lifestyle changes:

  • Good pill-taking habits- such as eating before taking your medication, drinking plenty of water with it, and avoiding lying down after taking your pill
  • Lose weight
  • Quit smoking / don’t start smoking
  • Avoid lying down after eating