According to experts, high levels of stress almost double the chance of having more severe and persistent symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease.
The esophagus, despite playing an essential role in general health and well-being, is a body organ that is often underestimated compared to the other parts that make up the digestive system. Apart from the common diseases affecting the esophagus, there are also fundamental aspects that may be overlooked but are important to understand its functioning and proper care.
Margarita Reyes, specialist in gastroenterology and digestive endoscopy at Colmedica Medical Center, explains that the esophagus is a fundamental anatomical structure of the digestive system, it is a hollow tube composed mainly of fibro-muscular tissue, which extends between 18 and 26 It happens. Centimeter long. It plays an important role in the digestive process by transporting liquids, saliva, and solid foods from the mouth and pharynx to the stomach.
The proper functioning of the esophagus is affected by a person’s emotional state, such as stress, and is related to the coordination of the opening and closing of the cardia. eat too quickly; Not chewing food properly and not giving time to the esophagus to carry the food to the stomach. The type of diet also affects, such as very spicy, spicy foods, alcohol, nicotine or caffeine.
Recommendations for preventing esophageal diseases
- Limit your intake of coffee and carbonated drinks (soda).
- Avoid consumption Of alcohol.
- do not smoke.
- sit down and eat, chew slowly And keep the quantity moderate.
- Avoid lying down or taking a nap immediately after eating.
- Promotes a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
- AndIn case of gastroesophageal reflux, avoid Eat Products based on citrus fruits or tomatoes, chocolate or mint.
The most common diseases that affect the esophagus
According to Margarita Reyes, specialist in gastroenterology and digestive endoscopy at Colmedica Medical Center, The most frequently diagnosed esophageal conditions include:
- Food returning up the esophagus: This includes the presence of symptoms such as a burning sensation behind the sternum, sores and a bitter taste in the mouth as a result of retrograde flow of gastric contents into the esophagus.
- Pill esophagitis: This includes the presence of damage to the inner lining or mucosa due to prolonged exposure to certain medications such as anti inflammatories Non-steroid. This damage may cause chest pain, pain, or difficulty swallowing.
- hiatal hernia: It is characterized by a physical change in the position of the junction between the esophagus and the stomach. In this condition, part of the stomach passes into the chest through a hole in the diaphragm.
- Eosinophilic esophagitis: It is determined by an increase in the presence and number of eosinophils (a type of white blood cell) in the mucosa of the esophagus, which causes inflammation. This condition can cause hardening and narrowing of the esophagus, manifesting as difficulty swallowing, chest tightness, burning or irritation.
- Motor Disorder: They are changes in the function of the muscle layer, primarily the smooth muscle that makes up the lower two thirds of the esophagus. You begin to develop difficulty swallowing or swallowing, pain and/or burning behind the breastbone, and a feeling of being trapped.
- cancer: This is the growth of malignant tumor cells from the inner layers of the esophagus and gradually compromising other, outer layers.
Symptoms of diseases of the esophagus
According to Margarita Reyes, specialist in gastroenterology and digestive endoscopy at Colmedica Medical Center, The most common symptoms related to esophageal diseases are:
- To burn or burn: Sensations in the central area of the chest, behind the breastbone. This symptom is often experienced during or after eating food and is characteristic of heartburn associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease.
- Resurrection: Which is the involuntary return of stomach acid or food contents into the mouth. This may cause an unpleasant sensation and a sour taste in the mouth.
- Acidity: Usually located in the lower part of the sternum and can extend to the upper abdomen. This symptom worsens after eating or lying down.
- Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia): There is difficulty in swallowing food or liquids. may look like food will remain Stuck in the throat or chest, and can be a symptom of many esophageal conditions.
- Feeling Stuck: You may have a stuck sensation when swallowing food, as if they are stuck in the esophagus.
- Pain while swallowing (odynophagia): This may be a symptom of inflammation or injury to the esophagus.
Similarly, Margarita Reyes, specialist in gastroenterology and digestive endoscopy at Colmedica Medical Center, points out that there are some alarming symptoms in which consultation should be prioritized as a matter of priority, since there may be complications related to the presence of benign diseases or malignant ones. The conditions, among them:
- Persistent vomiting: Especially if they are explosive or the vomit contains blood or looks like coffee grounds.
- Red or black bloody stool: May indicate bleeding in the digestive tract and should be evaluated immediately.
- Weakness, dizziness and lightheadedness: Symptoms that may be related to anemia or significant blood loss.
- Anemia: Especially if it is associated with the other symptoms mentioned, it may be a sign of an underlying problem.
- Inability to swallow.
- Unexplained weight loss:
Care of patients with esophageal diseases
According to Margarita Reyes, specialist in gastroenterology and digestive endoscopy at Colmedica Medical Center, recommendations for long-term care and follow-up in patients with esophageal diseases include:
- Follow up treatment: It is essential to strictly follow the instructions of the health professional, both medicinally prescribed and related to lifestyle changes. Consistency in following these indications is the key to effective control and management of the disease.
- Lifestyle Modifications: Maintaining ongoing lifestyle adjustments significantly contributes to long-term stability and well-being.
- Establish a healthy lifestyle: Adopting a healthy lifestyle through regular exercise and a balanced diet strengthens the body and reduces the negative effects of disease.
- Avoid modifiable risk factors: Avoiding tobacco use and controlling alcohol consumption are important measures to maintain long-term esophageal health.
In short, for any disease of the esophagus, self-medication with substances purchased commercially in pharmacies should be avoided; And especially the use of products whose use does not have scientific support. Therefore, you should always consult a health professional for any medical news.