Esophagitis is the inflammation, irritation and swelling of the esophagus, which is the tube that leads from the mouth to the stomach. There are four types of this disease: corrosive, reflux, infectious and chronic. Irritation and infection may cause the esophagus to become inflamed and even develop ulcers.
Primary symptoms include difficulty swallowing, pain when swallowing, heartburn and oral lesions, such as from herpes. Other symptoms may include fever, hernia, feeling like something is stuck in the throat, shortness of breath, and bleeding in vomit or stools.
Corrosive esophagitis is caused by swallowing caustic chemicals such as acid or lye. This can happen accidentally or in an attempt at suicide. Reflux esophagitis is also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). It is caused by a malfunction of the sphincter muscle between the esophagus and the stomach, which allows stomach acids to enter the esophagus. It can also be caused by excessive vomiting. Infectious esophagitis is caused most frequently by Candida, herpes and other viruses when the immune system is compromised. Chronic non-specific disease typically follows corrosive and reflux esophagitis. Other causes include radiation injury and obstruction of the esophagus
If you suffer from HIV/AIDS or other autoimmune diseases, your risk increases greatly as a secondary infection. If you are taking one of the many pharmaceutical drugs for acid reflux, while they are very effective at reducing stomach acid, our stomachs provide this acid for a purpose. With less hydrochloric acid, our food does not get digested properly and toxins that may be in our food are not destroyed, which can result in more cases of food poisoning.