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The esophagus connects the mouth to the stomach, allowing for food to pass through easily. An inflammation of the esophagus is known as esophagitis 12. It results in tissue damage to the esophagus. According to the Mayo Clinic, causes include oral medication, infection, allergies or the backup of stomach acids into the esophagus 1. Symptoms include painful swallowing and chest pain. Treatment often includes medication, but limiting certain foods may alleviate symptoms.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Foods to Avoid
Certain foods are known to relax the esophageal sphincter, the valve that allows food to pass through the esophagus to the stomach. Consumption of such foods may result in a backup of stomach acids into the esophagus and cause esophagitis 12. Spicy foods, chocolate, caffeine, tomatoes, oranges, grapefruit, alcohol, tobacco and mint should be avoided to alleviate symptoms of esophagitis 12.cause:
- Spicy foods
- mint should be avoided to alleviate symptoms of esophagitis 12
Foods to Include
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Methods to Alleviate Symptoms
Eat slowly and chew food completely. This allows food to pass through the esophagus and reduces pain. Eating several small meals throughout the day instead of three large meals may help the esophagus rest and reduce inflammation. Drink plenty of fluids while eating to alleviate swallowing difficulties. If symptoms persist or reoccur, contact a health care professional for medical attention.
- Eat slowly and chew food completely.
- Eating several small meals throughout the day instead of three large meals may help the esophagus rest and reduce inflammation.
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- Mayo Clinic: Esophagitis
- MedlinePlus: Esophagitis
- National Institutes of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Acid reflux (GER and GERD) in adults.
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- Rosołowski M, Kierzkiewicz M. Etiology, diagnosis and treatment of infectious esophagitis. Prz Gastroenterol. 2013;8(6):333-7. doi:10.5114/pg.2013.39914
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- National Institutes of Health. MedlinePlus. Systemic. Updated March 7, 2019.
- Careta MF, Romiti R. Localized scleroderma: clinical spectrum and therapeutic update. An Bras Dermatol. 2015;90(1):62-73. doi:10.1590/abd1806-4841.20152890
- National Institutes of Health. MedlinePlus. Esophagitis. Updated June 21, 2018.
- Hazelwood RJ, Armeson KE, Hill EG, Bonilha HS, Martin-harris B. Identification of Swallowing Tasks From a Modified Barium Swallow Study That Optimize the Detection of Physiological Impairment. J Speech Lang Hear Res. 2017;60(7):1855-1863. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-S-16-0117
- National Institutes of Health. MedlinePlus. Esophageal manometry. Updated July 11, 2019.
- Grossi L, Ciccaglione AF, Marzio L. Esophagitis and its causes: Who is "guilty" when acid is found "not guilty"?. World J Gastroenterol. 2017;23(17):3011-3016. doi:10.3748/wjg.v23.i17.3011
- Mermelstein J, Mermelstein AC, Chait MM. Proton pump inhibitors for the treatment of patients with erosive esophagitis and gastroesophageal reflux disease: current evidence and safety of dexlansoprazole. Clin Exp Gastroenterol. 2016;9:163-72. doi:10.2147/CEG.S91602
- Kim SH, Jeong JB, Kim JW, et al. Clinical and endoscopic characteristics of drug-induced esophagitis. World J Gastroenterol. 2014;20(31):10994-9. doi:10.3748/wjg.v20.i31.10994
- American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology website. Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE).
Nicole Silva is a registered dietitian. She has been published in "Topics in Clinical Nutrition" and recently began a nutrition blog, Weight…That’s It! She graduated from Boston College with a bachelor’s degree in finance and Simmons College with a master’s degree in nutrition and a certificate in sports nutrition.