The esophagus is the tube that carries food, liquids and saliva from your mouth to the stomach. You may not be aware of your esophagus until you swallow something too large, too hot or too cold. You may also become aware of it when something is wrong.

The most common problem with the esophagus is gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). It happens when a band of muscle at the end of your esophagus does not close properly. This allows stomach contents to leak back, or reflux, into the esophagus and irritate it. Over time, GERD can cause damage to the esophagus. Other problems include heartburn and cancer.

Treatment depends on the problem. Some get better with over-the-counter medicines or changes in diet. Others may need prescription medicines or surgery.

Symptoms of Esophagus Disorders

The following features are indicative of Esophagus Disorders:
  • squeezing pain in your chest
  • difficulty swallowing
  • extremely hot and cold liquids
  • the feeling that an object is stuck in your throat
  • the return of food and liquids back up your esophagus
  • weight loss without trying
  • chest pain, pressure or burning
  • worsening indigestion or heartburn
  • coughing or hoarseness

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Common Causes of Esophagus Disorders

The following are the most common causes of Esophagus Disorders:
  • gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • swallowing of foreign material
  • DNA mutations

Risk Factors for Esophagus Disorders

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Esophagus Disorders:
  • high blood pressure
  • anxiety or depression
  • consuming very hot and very cold foods and drinks
  • drinking alcohol
  • having bile reflux
  • having difficulty swallowing because of an esophageal sphincter that won't relax
  • drinking very hot liquids
  • eating few fruits and vegetables
  • having gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • being obese
  • having precancerous changes in the cells of the esophagus
  • undergoing radiation treatment to the chest or upper abdomen
  • smoking

Prevention of Esophagus Disorders

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Esophagus Disorders. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • choose food that is warm or cool
  • find ways to control stress
  • suck peppermint lozenges
  • quit smoking
  • drink alcohol in moderation
  • eat more fruits and vegetables
  • maintain a healthy weight

Occurrence of Esophagus Disorders

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Esophagus Disorders cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Esophagus Disorders can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Esophagus Disorders can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Esophagus Disorders

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Esophagus Disorders:
  • Endoscopy: Allows your doctor to see the inside of the esophagus
  • Esophageal manometry: This test measures muscle contractions in your esophagus when you swallow water

Doctor for Diagnosis of Esophagus Disorders

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Esophagus Disorders:
  • ENT specialist
  • Gastroenterologist
  • Oncologist
  • Radiation Oncologist

Complications of Esophagus Disorders if untreated

Yes, Esophagus Disorders causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Esophagus Disorders is left untreated:
  • retrosternal pain
  • dysphagia
  • obstruction of the esophagus
  • advanced esophageal cancer can cause pain
  • bleeding in the esophagus
  • esophageal cancer can cause bleeding

Procedures for Treatment of Esophagus Disorders

The following procedures are used to treat Esophagus Disorders:
  • Myotomy: To weaken esophageal contractions by cutting the muscle at the lower end of the esophagus
  • Surgery: To remove the cancer
  • Esophagectomy: To eliminate the portion of your esophagus that contains the tumor
  • Esophagogastrectomy: To remove part of your esophagus and the upper portion of your stomach that contains the tumor
  • Chemotherapy: To destroy the cancer cells
  • Radiation therapy: To kill cancer cells

Medicines for Esophagus Disorders

Below is the list of medicines used for Esophagus Disorders:

Self-care for Esophagus Disorders

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Esophagus Disorders:
  • Find ways to control stress: Helps in coping with esophageal spasms
  • Avoid smoking: Helps in lowering the risk of esophageal cancer
  • Maintain a healthy weight: Helps in preventing esophageal cancer

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Esophagus Disorders

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Esophagus Disorders:
  • Suck a peppermint lozenge: Peppermint oil helps in easing esophageal spasms
  • Acupuncture: Helps in coping with the disease
  • Massage and relaxation techniques: Helps in lowering the pain

Patient Support for Treatment of Esophagus Disorders

The following actions may help Esophagus Disorders patients:
  • Stay connected to friends and family: Provides support network for you during your cancer treatment
  • Find out enough about esophageal cancer to make decisions about your care: Helps in learning more about your treatment options
  • Join a support group: Share the feelings with people who are facing the same challenges as you are, helps in coping with the disease

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Esophagus Disorders.
Esophageal Cancer
Swallowing Disorders

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