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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Esophagitis
      Category : Health Centers > Digestive System


Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

Esophagitis is an inflammation of the lining of the esophagus. The esophagus is the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach.

What is going on in the body?

The lining of the esophagus becomes inflamed because of an infection or something that has irritated the lining. Esophagitis is called acute when it occurs suddenly. It is called chronic when it lasts for a long time.

What are the causes and risks of the disease?

Causes of esophagitis include:

  • infections by organisms such as candida, cytomegalovirus (CMV), or herpes simplex
  • diseases and conditions that weaken the immune system, such as HIV, poorly controlled diabetes, immunodeficiency disorders, chemotherapy, chronic steroid use, or malnutrition
  • chemicals that are swallowed
  • pills that become stuck in the esophagus
  • gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, a condition in which stomach acid splashes back up into the esophagus
  • medications and supplements such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, alendronate, doxycycline, iron, and potassium


    Next section


    Esophagitis: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: David J. Craner, MD
    Reviewer: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Date Reviewed: 07/05/01

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