Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is the most common cause of esophagitis. When you have GERD, stomach acid and juices flow backward into your esophagus. This can irritate the esophagus.
Other causes include:
Common symptoms of esophagitis include:
Sometimes it also causes:
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and past health. He or she may do tests such as:
The treatment you need depends on what is causing the esophagitis. If you have esophagitis caused by acid reflux or GERD, your doctor will likely recommend that you change your diet, lose weight if needed, and make other lifestyle changes. Here are some things to try:
If lifestyle changes alone aren't enough to help your esophagitis, your doctor may suggest you try medicines that reduce stomach acid. Reducing the reflux gives the esophagus a chance to heal. Over-the-counter medicines include:
If esophagitis is caused by an infection, you may need to take antibiotics or other medicines to treat the infection.
If you or your child has esophagitis caused by a food allergy, your doctor may prescribe corticosteroids.
You might need surgery if you have a tear in your esophagus or if something is blocking your esophagus, such as a tumor.
|American College of Gastroenterology|
|P.O. Box 342260|
|Bethesda, MD 20827-2260|
The American College of Gastroenterology is an organization of digestive disease specialists. The Web site contains information about common gastrointestinal problems.
|American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy|
|1520 Kensington Road|
|Oak Brook, IL 60523|
|Phone:||1-866-353-ASGE (1-866-353-2743) toll-free|
The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy is a group of doctors who have special training in using endoscopy to look at the digestive tract. On the website you can find a doctor in your area who does these procedures. The website also has patient education videos and patient information about endoscopic procedures.
|National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse|
|2 Information Way|
|Bethesda, MD 20892-3570|
This clearinghouse is a service of the U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health. The clearinghouse answers questions; develops, reviews, and sends out publications; and coordinates information resources about digestive diseases. Publications produced by the clearinghouse are reviewed carefully for scientific accuracy, content, and readability.
Other Works Consulted
- Orlando RC (2008). Diseases of the esophagus. In L Goldman, D Ausiello eds., Cecil Medicine, 23rd ed., pp. 998–1009. Philadelphia: Saunders Elsevier.
|Primary Medical Reviewer||Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||Peter J. Kahrilas, MD - Gastroenterology|
|Last Revised||June 1, 2011|
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