A benign esophageal stricture is a contraction of the esophagus that brings about swallowing and eating problems. It can be produced by or is linked to acid reflux disease, esophagitis, GERD, heartburn, a poor operating lower esophageal sphincter, indigestion or a hiatus hernia.
The strictures are caused by scar tissue that develops in the esophagus. The inside layer of the esophagus is injured by the steady increase in scar tissue expanding. As the scarring intensifies the coating of the esophagus becomes rigid and swallowing difficulties follow. As time passes and the scar tissue continuously enlarges in volume and the esophagus becomes too narrow to properly eat or swallow.
Esophageal stricture is a situation that progresses gradually over an extended cycle. It can demonstrated by an assortment of symptoms. Analysis or testing of the condition is completed by means of a barium swallow; this covers the esophagus and can be evidence for the imaging apparatus as to the exact area of stricture.
An esophageal stricture takes place in between seven to twenty-three percent of patients with GERD who do not effectively treat it and reduce the damage it is causing to the esophagus.
One of the circumstances that can lead to esophageal strictures is acid reflux disease. This occurs when unnecessary acid is regurgitated from the stomach back up into the esophagus. This is the source of swelling in the lower part of the esophagus that brings about the strictures.
The scar tissue will increase after recurring inflammatory damage and healing. This will eventually create damaged tissue that shrinks the opening of the esophagus.
The principle cause of esophageal stricture is directly related to the foods consumed by the individuals inflicted with it. They tend to eat foods that generate excess stomach acid and gas that has nowhere to go, so it eventually is refluxed back up to the esophagus.
As time passes and this process continues the scarring grows to a point that surgery can be required to ease the patients swallowing difficulties. Most physicians recommend an immediate change in the dietary pattern of there patients that have esophageal stricture.
Other suggestions by doctors to ease the inflammation are to stop smoking, begin exercising and reduction or elimination of alcoholic consumption. Medications in the form of Proton Pump Inhibitor or H (2)-Receptor Blockers are often prescribed as a bridge until an effective "Acid Reflux Diet" has proven to eliminate all symptoms associated with esophageal stricture.