Submitted by Thiruvelan on Tue, 12/13/2011

Esophagus is a muscular tube portion of the alimentary canal between the mouth and the stomach. Which can move food from mouth to stomach and stop its reverse flow? When you drink water upright position (i.e. head in the ground), the water can be able to reach the stomach, and stops the reverse flow from the stomach to mouth.

What is Esophagitis?

Esophagitis is a condition in which there is an inflammation in the esophagus mucosa (inner lining of the esophagus tube) caused by infection or irritation. If esophagitis left un-treat, it can lead to be difficult swallowing, ulcer, esophagus scarring, and Barrett’s esophagus (Precursor to be esophageal cancer).

Esophagitis Causes

Esophagitis is a common term refereeing inflammation of the esophageal tube. Based on the causes of esophagitis are:

  • Infection: Esophagitis caused by the yeast or viral infection. Yeast infection of the esophagus called Candida and viral called Herpes. It is most common among people with weakened immune systems such as diabetes, those who had antibiotics or chemotherapy recently.
  • GERD: Esophagitis caused by the backflow of stomach’s acid containing foods into the esophagus (gastro esophageal reflux disease - GERD), this condition is called as esophagitis reflux, also known as GERD esophagitis.
  • Chemicals: Esophagitis caused by chemical injury by alkaline or acid solutions, when attempting to suicide by ingestion poisonous substance.
  • Radiations: Esophagitis caused by radiation for cancer treatment can cause burns leading to scar and inflammation of the esophagus.
  • Injury: Physical damage by the insertion of nasogastric tubes (a tube used for feeding and administering drugs).
  • Vomiting: Frequent or chronic vomiting can lead to acid damage (causes small tears of the inner wall of the esophagus) to the esophagus due to excessive or forceful vomiting.
  • Medications: Esophagitis caused by the side effects of the medication such as Aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs. When you are taking larger size pills with little water or having pills just before going to bed.

Esophagitis Risk factors

The following increase your risk of esophagitis:

  • Regular use of Alcohol
  • Frequent Cigarette smoking
  • Radiation or chest surgery (for the treatment of lung cancer)
  • On certain medications (such as alendronate, tetracycline, doxycycline, and vitamin C), if taken without plenty of water.
  • Chronic vomiting
  • Those with weak immune systems

Types of Esophagitis

There are two major types of esophagitis, they are:

  • Corrosive esophagitis
  • Reflux esophagitis

Corrosive esophagitis has usually caused by swallowing of acid or alkaline chemical that swallow accidentally or in a suicide attempt.
Reflux esophagitis is a very common condition caused due to GERD. The problem with the functioning of the Lower esophageal sphincter (musculature of the lower esophageal segment) lead to entry of acid into the esophagus that leads to esophageal inflammation called reflux esophagitis.