Ulcers of the Esophagus
What is the Ulcers Of Esophagus?
An esophagus ulcer is the chronic inflammation of the esophagus, therefore often called esophagitis. Esophagus ulcers can lead to a condition called Barrett Esophagus. Synonyms found for esophagus ulcer are Barrett Ulcer, BE, Chronic Peptic Ulcer and Esophagitis Syndrome or Esophagitis-Peptic Ulcer.
What are the causes?
The ulceration of the esophagus is mostly caused through chronic gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). GERD is a disease that causes the stomach acids to reflux into the esophagus, causing heartburn.
However an esophagus ulcer can also be caused through infection with candida species, the herpes virus (HSV), or thehuman papillomavirus (HPV), among others. Infectious esophagus ulcers mainly occur in patients with a weak immune system.
Other causes can be excessive vomiting, surgery or medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen.
What are the symptoms?
Typical symptoms may include
- Difficulties swallowing or painful swallowing
- Abdominal Pain
- Weight Loss
Eventually the esophagus can narrow and make swallowing difficult and painful (Barrett Ulcer).
What treatments are available?
In the case of an infection the treatment of an esophagus ulcer will involve antibiotics. In case of an ulcer caused by stomach acids, acid reducers will be prescribed.
The prescription that you get from our doctor is usually effective, but cannot be taken over a long period of time due to their side effects. Esophagus ulcers may take a long time to heal completely, depending on the severity of the inflammation and ulceration. Therefore prescription medications only relieve the pain temporarily.
Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) for example are a prescription medication that blocks the acid production of the stomach. Proton pump inhibitors stop a mechanism that usually “pumps” acid into the stomach. By suppressing the acid in the stomach the esophagus will be less irritated and the ulcer can have a chance to heal. However, this medication can be accompanied byunpleasant side effects.
What is the best diet when sufferring from Esophagus Ulcer?
The following food/ food groups are safe to eat as they do not provoke acid production in the stomach. It is also recommended to create your own “good food – bad food” list in addition to this list. In order to better observe when heartburn and thereby irritation of the esophagus occurs, it might be a good idea to lead a diary where you write down when exactly you experience the pain. After a while it will be easy to discover causes and change your life style accordingly.