The long muscular tube that connects the pharynx to the stomach is called the esophagus. The food we eat, travels to the stomach from the pharynx via the esophagus. Derived from Latin and Greek words esophagus basically means the ‘entrance for eating’. This organ is found in all creatures having a vertebra or a spinal cord.
Causes Of Esophageal Stricture
Any narrowing or tapering of the esophagus leads to esophageal stricture. Esophageal structure can cause immense problems while swallowing food. When the tissues which line the esophagus become inflamed, it leads to the constriction or tightening of this tube.
Inflammation of the esophageal tissues is just one of the causes behind esophageal stricture. There are multiple factors which can cause the esophagus to become constricted and some of the common causes behind this condition have been examined in this article.
GERD is the acronym for Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease. Also known as reflux disease, GERD often causes esophageal constriction especially when the stomach acids rush into the lower sections of the esophagus. If GERD is left untreated it can corrode the lower portions of the esophagus and this can ultimately pose severe problems in swallowing food.
An infection in the lower part of the esophagus causes the condition called esophagitis. A person can suffer from either acute or chronic esophagitis. Common infections which can lead to esophagitis, which ultimately results in esophageal stricture, include herpes simplex, candida yeast and cytomegalovirus. People with this condition experience severe discomfort and pain while swallowing food.
Swallowing Corrosive Material
When people swallow corrosive materials mistakenly or deliberately, it can damage the delicate lining of the esophagus very badly. Later, when the esophageal lining heals and scar tissues begin to form it can cause the esophagus to narrow. This narrowing of the esophagus can cause major problems in swallowing solid food.
Protracted Usage Of Naso-gastric Or Feeding Tubes
Nasogastric tubes are basically feeding tubes which help to carry food to a person’s stomach after they have undergone some major surgery. Individuals who are in an unconscious state or in coma, are fed via the naso gastric tubes. Extended usage of these tubes to feed patients can ultimately damage the fragile lining of their esophagus and lead to esophageal stricture.
Another causative factor behind the uncomfortable condition called esophageal stricture is hiatus hernia. When the upper regions of the stomach protrude or obtrude into the area beside the esophagus, it can lead to a narrowing or constriction of the lower regions of the esophagus and ultimately cause esophageal stricture.
Treatment Of Esophageal Varcies
Chronic liver disease can result in esophageal varcies, which is the excessive dilation of the blood vessels that line the lower parts of the esophageal tube. When the blood vessels become excessively dilated, they have the tendency to leach blood. The best way to control this kind of internal bleeding is through a complicated surgical procedure. However, the surgical process can result in the formation of scar tissues which can constrict the esophagus.
Autoimmune diseases, injury caused during routine endoscopy procedure, irradiation to the chest or even a dysfunctional lower esophageal sphincter are the other causative agents behind esophageal stricture.