What is going on in the body?
What are the causes and risks of the disease?
- infections by organisms such as Candida (yeast),
cytomegalovirus(CMV), or herpes simplex(HSV)
- 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(GERD), a condition in which stomach acid splashes back up into the esophagus
- medications and supplements such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs); bisphosphonates (that are used to treat osteoporosis, like alendronate <i.e., Fosamax>, risedronate <i.e., Actonel>; doxycycline (i.e., Adoxa, Doryx, Vibramycin); iron; and potassium
What can be done to prevent the disease?
- eating a nutritious diet based on the
food guide pyramid
- getting adequate rest
- getting proper treatment for
- storing chemicals in properly labeled containers and keeping them out of the reach of children
- always taking pills with adequate amounts of liquid and at least 15 minutes before lying down
How is the disease diagnosed?
endoscopy, which uses a scope, or long tube, to see the esophagus and look for possible causes of symptoms. Biopsiesmay also be done with the endoscope. upper GI series, in which the person swallows liquid barium, and X-rays are taken to follow the course of the barium through the esophagus and into the stomach.
- blood tests, including a complete blood count
(CBC), to check for infection
- esophageal motility tests, to evaluate the movement of food through the esophagus
- pH tests, to measure the acid content of the esophagus
Long Term Effects
What are the long-term effects of the disease?
What are the risks to others?
What are the treatments for the disease?
- antibiotics, antiviral, or antifungal medications for infections
- medications to treat underlying conditions, such as
- maintaining a healthy lifestyle
- surgery to repair the esophagus
What are the side effects of the treatments?
What happens after treatment for the disease?
How is the disease monitored?
Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 1998, Fauci et al. The Merck Manual of Medical Information, 1997.