What Causes Esophagus Inflammation?

Frequent vomiting of stomach acid may cause esophagus inflammation.
A burning sensation in the throat is a common feeling with esophagus inflammation.
The hollow tube known as the esophagus runs from the stomach to the throat.
Article Details
  • Written By: Jacob Queen
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 08 October 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article

The primary cause of esophagus inflammation tends to be stomach acid. Sometimes this is introduced to the esophagus through a disorder called acid reflux, but it might also be introduced during a vomiting episode. The stomach is tough enough to handle this acid, but the tissue in the upper parts of the digestive tract, including the esophagus, generally isn't. Esophagus inflammation can also happen because of an infection, allergy, or a reaction to some irritating chemical substance passing through the digestive system. One of the main causes other than stomach acid is the candida fungus, which is also well-known to cause the common vaginal yeast infection in women.

The esophagus is the passageway that extends from a person's mouth down to his stomach. Anything people eat has to pass through this tunnel, and normally it functions without a hitch. In the rare cases where it becomes inflamed, the condition is called esophagitis.

When esophagus inflammation occurs, several symptoms may appear. Some of the most common include a feeling that food is getting trapped in the esophagus, pains, and burning sensations. In a few cases, the esophagus might become so swollen that some people may have trouble swallowing anything, including food or liquids, and this could potentially become dangerous. Long-term inflammation of the esophagus has also been associated with esophageal cancer, which is generally very dangerous.

Ad

In most cases, when esophagus inflammation occurs, the doctors will focus on treating the core problem that's making it happen. In many cases, that may involve treating various stomach reflux problems such as ulcers. Once the irritant, whether it be stomach acid or something else, is barred from the esophagus, the condition will generally go away on its own. People may be given pain medication, or they might take antibiotics, antifungal, or antiviral medications if there is some kind of infection.

While waiting for the treatment to work, it is generally considered important that people take certain precautions. Among the most important is to avoid eating foods that might lead to more esophagus irritation. These would potentially include foods with a rough surface that might scratch the passageway going down. If too many of these kinds of foods are consumed, experts suggest that the esophagus can easily be torn while it is inflamed, and these tears might lead to scarring, which could be debilitating on a long-term basis. Another precaution many experts recommend is that people avoid spicy foods, which might help aggravate the inflammation.

Ad

More from Wisegeek

You might also Like

Discuss this Article

stoneMason
Post 3

@fify-- I'm not a doctor and I'm not sure what you mean by gallbladder problems, but I think it can if it upsets digestion.

As far as I know, gallbladder digests fat. If it's not working right and causes fat indigestion, that might lead to stomach cramps and acidity. I suppose that can cause inflammation in the esophagus as well.

But it's best to check with a doctor about this.

fify
Post 2

Can problems with the gallbladder cause esophageal spasm and inflammation?

SteamLouis
Post 1

I had chronic acid reflux for two years which eventually led to esophageal inflammation. I was in so much pain. I was taking proton pump inhibitors and anti-acids every day and still couldn't keep my acid reflux under control.

My doctor wanted to take a sample of my stomach liquid to try and figure out what was wrong. I didn't want to have something put down my throat like that so I refused. Then, I started seeing a specialist who did a five minute breath test. He sent the sample from my breath to the lab and they found a stomach bacteria called h.pylori. I was put on antibiotic treatment which lasted a month.

After a month of treatment, my acid reflux disappeared and since the cause of the inflammation was treated, my esophagus slowly healed too. I wanted to share my experience here in case others are going through the same thing.

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email