The esophagus does not have the same protective lining as the stomach.
- Burning sensations
- The burning sensation is felt in the upper abdomen and lower chest, sometimes moving up into the throat.
- It tends to be worse at night when lying, and may also be aggravated by bending, lifting or straining.
This sensation or discomfort is often referred to as "heartburn".
Other symptoms include
- Regurgitation (food comes up into the mouth)
- Chest pain
- Difficulty in swallowing (called dysphagia)
- Excess belching is common.
Patients have difficulties breathing, suffer from hoarseness and cough because the refluxed fluid irritates the larynx and respiratory tract.
The acid reflux may reach the throat and mouth.
- It is sour and may burn.
- Usually, after an episode of esophagitis, the lining of the esophagus heals and returns too normal.
- Sometimes however, the lining heals in a different way and changes to form cells like in the lining of the stomach and intestine.
- This is referred to as 'Barrett's esophagus'.
- This condition has no symptoms, but it is always advisable to have regular check-ups once Barrett's oesophagus has been diagnosed as it would help to detect any further changes or complications like
- Ulcers in gullet
- Schwann, Theodor. Über das Wesen des Verdauungsprocesses. Arch Anat Physiol Wissensch Med. 1836; 90-138 [Reprinted in Selected Readings in the History of Physiology, 2nd ed. Translated by Fulton JF, Wilson LG. Springfield, IL: Charles C Thomas; 1966, pp. 190-2.
- Manipal Manual Of Surgery: K. Rajgopal Shenoy. MBBS, MS. (2000 EDITION)