GI Education

Esophagus


The esophagus is the tube that carries food, liquids and saliva from your mouth to the stomach.

Common esophagus disorders:

Achalasia

Achalasia is a rare disorder of the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach (esophagus), which affects the ability of the esophagus to move food toward the stomach. With achalasia, the muscle ring does not relax as well because of damaged nerves of the esophagus.  Common symptoms are regurgitation, chest pain, cough, difficulty swallowing, heartburn or weight loss.

Barrett’s esophagus

Barrett’s esophagus is a disorder in which the lining of the esophagus (the tube that carries food from the throat to the stomach) is damaged by stomach acid.  When the muscles do not close tightly, stomach acid can leak back into the esophagus causing reflux.  The acid reflux may lead to heartburn

Patients with Barrett’s esophagus may develop more changes in the esophagus called dysplasia. When dysplasia is present, the risk of getting cancer of the esophagus increases.

Candida esophagitis

Candida esophagitis is a yeast infection of the esophagus, the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach. It occurs when the yeast spreads from the mouth down the esophagus.  Common symptoms are difficulty or painful swallowing, fever or oral thrush.

If you have HIV/AIDS, Diabetes, Leukemia or other conditions of a weak immune system, you are at higher risk for a Candida esophagus infection.

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