Esophagitis is a term used to describe inflammation in the lining of the esophagus, the tube that carries food from the throat to the stomach.
If left untreated, inflammation of the esophagus can become very uncomfortable and causes difficulty in swallowing and ulcers or scarring of the esophagus.
In very rare conditions, esophagitis can cause Barrett’s esophagus, which is the main risk factor for esophageal cancer.
Gastro-esophageal reflux disease (commonly known as GERD) often leads to esophagitis.
Infections responsible for inflammation
An infection in the esophagus can be caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi or any other diseases that can potentially weaken your immune system. Common infections that can cause esophagus include:
Herpes: It is the viral infection that basically develops in your esophagus when the immune system of your body is weak. Usually, the herpes virus can be easily treated with anti-virus drugs.
Candida: This is a yeast infection that can be developed in your esophagus. It is caused by the same fungus responsible for vaginal yeast infections. Weak body immune systems are more prone to this particular yeast infection. Like herpes, Candida is easily treated with antiviral drugs prescribed by your doctor.
Apart from these two infections, esophagitis is also caused by the following conditions:
- Surgery and radiation injury.
- Use of medications such as aspirin and other anti-inflammatory drugs.
- Taking large pills with very little water.
- Vomiting or swallowing a toxic substance.
Measures to be followed during the treatment
While you are undergoing treatment for the esophagus, consider these few essential steps to limit the discomfort. Here are a few steps that you should consider in the treatment of esophagitis:
- Avoid eating spicy foods made with pepper, chilli powder, curry and nutmeg.
- Take small bites and chew your food thoroughly.
- Completely stay away from alcohol and tobacco.
- Avoid large amounts of caffeine, peppermint, chocolate and high-fat foods.
- Acidic foods and beverages such as oranges, tomatoes, grapefruits and their juices should be completely avoided.
- Don’t eat hard foods such as crackers, raw vegetables and nuts.
- Give more preference to soft foods such as mashed potatoes, puddings, high protein shakes, apple sauce and cooked cereals in your regular diet.
Follow these simple measures and follow the advice of your doctor. Identify the condition in the initial stages to avoid various complications.