How long does it take for an inflamed esophagus to heal?
If allowed to continue unabated, symptoms can cause considerable physical damage. One manifestation, reflux esophagitis (RO), creates visible breaks in the distal esophageal mucosa. To heal RO, potent acid suppression for 2 to 8 weeks is needed, and in fact, healing rates improve as acid suppression increases.
Benign esophageal stricture can happen when scar tissue forms in the esophagus. This is often the result of damage to the esophagus. The most common cause of damage is gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), also known as acid reflux. Frequent exposure to harmful stomach acid can cause scar tissue to form.
- A thin area of narrowing in the lower esophagus can intermittently cause difficulty swallowing solid foods. GERD. Damage to esophageal tissues from stomach acid backing up into your esophagus can lead to spasm or scarring and narrowing of your lower esophagus. Eosinophilic esophagitis.
- Esophageal dilation is a procedure that allows your doctor to dilate, or stretch, a narrowed area of your esophagus [swallowing tube]. Doctors can use various techniques for this procedure. Your doctor might perform the procedure as part of a sedated endoscopy.
- Dilation (stretching) of the esophagus is the main treatment for acid reflux related strictures. You may need to have this treatment repeated after a period of time to prevent the stricture from narrowing again. Proton pump inhibitors (acid-blocking medicines) can keep a peptic stricture from returning.
Common trigger foods for people with reflux
- High-fat foods. Fried and fatty foods can cause the LES to relax, allowing more stomach acid to back up into the esophagus.
- Tomatoes and citrus fruit. Fruits and vegetables are important in a healthy diet.
- Garlic, onions, and spicy foods.
- Other options.
- Banana. Bananas make a great snack, and at pH 5.6, they're usually great for people with acid reflux. However, about 1% of acid refluxers find that their condition is worsened by bananas.
- Here are five easy steps to put Dr. Hofstetter's suggestions into action and reduce your risk of developing esophageal cancer:
- Banish the booze.
- Toss your cigarettes.
- Watch your weight.
- Eat right.
- Control Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD).
- Or, the cause of a symptom may be another medical condition that is not cancer.
- Difficulty and pain with swallowing, particularly when eating meat, bread, or raw vegetables.
- Pressure or burning in the chest.
- Indigestion or heartburn.
- Frequent choking on food.
- Unexplained weight loss.
- Coughing or hoarseness.
Untreated esophagitis can lead to serious health complications related to the function and structure of the esophagus. Complications include: Barrett's esophagus, damage to the lining of your esophagus, which can lead to a precancerous change in the tissue. holes or ulcers in the esophagus (esophageal perforation)
- The GERD diet is aimed at reducing acid reflux, the main cause of esophagitis.
- Eat low fat, high protein meals.
- Avoid fatty foods.
- Avoid spicy foods.
- Avoid acidic foods and beverages such as citrus and tomatoes.
- Avoid foods that may trigger or worsen heartburn including chocolate, mint, onions or garlic.
- Taking medicines to reduce stomach acid can speed healing. Throat ulcers caused by chemotherapy should heal once you finish cancer treatment. Vocal cord ulcers should improve with rest after a few weeks. Infections usually go away within a week or two.
- Those with severe symptomatic disease will require omeprazole or antireflux surgery. Today most cases of acute reflux esophagitis can be healed. However, this frequently requires marked acid suppression for a prolonged period of time. The key to treating and healing reflux esophagitis is the initial esophagitis grade.
Updated: 4th October 2019