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What are the symptoms and causes of esophagitis?

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Quick Answer

The symptoms of esophagitis, defined as an inflammation of the esophagus, include difficulty swallowing, sore throat, acid reflux, stomach ache, nausea and acute chest pains, according to WebMD. Allergies, gastroesophageal reflux disease, infection, and the use of certain medications, including antibiotics, can cause esophagitis.

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Full Answer

There are four primary types of esophagitis: reflux esophagitis, drug-induced esophagitis, eosinophilic esophagitis and infectious esophagitis, notes Healthline. Reflux esophagitis is often associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease and occurs when acid enters the esophageal passage from the stomach, causing heartburn and esophageal inflammation. Drug-induced esophagitis is caused by the use of certain medications, including pain relievers such as aspirin, osteoporosis drugs known as bisphosphonates, and potassium chloride. Taking antibiotics, such as tetracycline, and NSAIDs, such as naproxen, can also lead to drug-induced esophagitis, notes WebMD.

A less common form of esophagitis, eosinophilic esophagitis occurs when the body releases excess white blood cells into the esophagus to counter an allergic reaction, most commonly caused by foods such as eggs, milk, peanuts, soy and wheat, states Healthline. Infectious esophagitis is also very rare and is caused by bacterial and viral infections. It typically only affects those with weakened immune systems, such as diabetics and cancer patients. Other causes of esophagitis include hiatal hernias, exposure to radiation therapy, and scleroderma, a medical condition causing painful swallowing, according to WebMD.

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