Esophagitis refers to inflammation of the esophagus (a tube through which food and drink passes from mouth to stomach). It can lead to damage of tissue of the esophagus, alter its structure or cause problems with its normal function. Homeopathic Remedies for Esophagitis help to reduce the inflammation of esophagus and effectively manage its symptoms.
It can have various causes. The most common cause behind it is GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). In this condition there is backflow of stomach acid in the food pipe that can irritate its lining and lead to inflammation. Next it can arise from infections. Another reason behind it is use of certain medicines (NSAIDs , some antibiotics, steroids).
Apart from this risk factors for it includes alcohol abuse, excessive cigarette use, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, chemical injury by alkaline or acid solutions, physical injury, weak immune system, stress, allergies, crohn’s disease (an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation and damage to gastrointestinal system), chronic vomiting, obesity, hiatal hernia (condition in which stomach bulges out from hiatus opening in diaphragm into chest), intense use of Vitamins and supplements, surgery in the chest area.
Types of Esophagitis
This type usually results from GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). In this disease there is backflow of stomach acid upwards in the food pipe. There is a valve known as LES – lower esophageal sphincter, that keeps the stomach acid in the stomach and prevents its back flow. This valve opens only when food has to enter the stomach from the food pipe and is closed at all other times. When this valve opens at times other than eating or doesn’t close rightly then the stomach contents can get back in the food pipe. If this occurs frequently for a long time then acid content from the stomach can inflame and damage the lining of the food pipe and this condition is known as reflux esophagitis. There are some factors that increase the chance of GERD and inflammation of esophagus due to stomach acid. This includes taking excessive alcohol, coffee, chocolate, smoking, eating excessive fat and going to bed immediately after eating.
This type occurs from an excessive number of eosinophils (a type of WBC – white blood cell that plays a role in allergic reactions) in the esophagus usually from an over reactive response to an allergen or acid reflux. There are some of the common food triggers for it, for eg, foods such as milk, eggs, soy, peanuts, wheat and shellfish. It can also result from inhaling an allergen like pollen.
It is a rare type that occurs from an excessive number of lymphocytes (a type of white blood cells) in the esophageal lining. Crohn’s disease, GERD are some diseases associated with it.
This results from taking some of the oral medicines with a very little amount of water. It increases the contact time of medicine with the lining of the food pipe. Some of the examples of these medicines include pain relievers (aspirin,ibuprofen), antibiotics (tetracycline), bisphosphonates, quinidine and potassium chloride.
It is rare and can occur from a bacterial, viral, fungal or parasitic infection in the esophagus. This type mostly affects people having weak immune systems. Among infections fungus called Candida albicans is common cause of this type. These fungal infections are common in people with low immunity, people who are diabetic, have cancer or those who use steroids.
Its symptoms include difficulty swallowing, pain while swallowing, heartburn, pain in the chest behind the breastbone while eating, food getting stuck in the food pipe. Other symptoms that can occur includes nausea, vomiting, decrease in appetite, epigastric pain, sore throat, hoarse voice and cough. Young children may have feeding difficulty and failure to thrive.
If not treated well in time there can occur changes in the structure and function of the esophagus. Firstly it can lead to scarring, narrowing (stricture) in the esophagus. Next there can occur ulcers in the esophagus. Another complication is tearing or perforation of the esophagus. Lastly it can lead to Barrett’s esophagus (it is a precancerous condition in which there occurs damage to esophageal lining and changes in cells that line the esophagus which increases the risk of esophageal cancer).
Homeopathic Remedies for Esophagitis
Homeopathy offers a very effective treatment for cases of esophagitis. Homeopathic medicines help to reduce the inflammation of esophagus and effectively manage its symptoms. Symptoms including difficult swallowing, painful swallowing, heartburn, sensation of food getting stuck in the food pipe, nausea, vomiting, epigastric pain can be well managed with these medicines. In mild to moderate cases they can be used as per the symptoms present. But in severe and complicated cases one must consider use of conventional treatment.
Arsenic Album – Top Grade Medicine
Arsenic Album is a leading medicine for treating cases of esophagitis. Persons needing it have marked burning in the food pipe (heartburn). Burning is felt when swallowing the food. The burning is so intense as if esophagus is made raw by an acidic substance. Along with this nausea may attend. They may also have stinging sensation in the esophagus as from a splinter. Another complaint that they have is very difficult and painful swallowing. They also have a sensation as if everything swallowed gets lodged in the esophagus. Soreness of the throat and pain in the throat may also be felt by them. Vomiting may also be present in addition to above symptoms.
Iris Versicolor – To Manage Heartburn, Nausea, Vomiting
This medicine is prepared from the root of the plant commonly named Blue flag. This plant belongs to the family Iridaceae. It is a highly recommended medicine for managing heartburn. In cases needing it there can also be continuous nausea. Vomiting is there which is sour, acrid in nature.
Robinia – To Manage Heartburn, Acid Reflux
This medicine is prepared from plant Robinia Pseudoacacia. This plant belongs to family leguminosae. It is a very suitable medicine to manage heartburn and acid reflux. Persons who need it mainly get heartburn at night time on lying down. They also have nausea. Another important symptom that is present is vomiting of intensely sour fluid.
Causticum – When There is Sensation of Food Lodging in Esophagus
This medicine is beneficial for the cases when there is sensation of food lodging in the esophagus. Other than this there is nausea during or after a meal in cases that require this medicine. Next attending symptom is vomiting of acidic water or food. In many cases pressive, cramp – like pains or shooting type of pain is felt in the abdomen in the epigastric region.
Phosphorus – For Burning in Esophagus
Phosphorus is another prominent medicine for these cases. It is indicated when the esophagus is there. Along with this there is difficulty swallowing liquids. Nausea and vomiting may also be present along with this. It is also a medicine for managing cases of stricture of esophagus.
Alumina – For Painful Swallowing
Alumina is a beneficial medicine to manage painful swallowing. Persons needing it have difficulty in swallowing solid food. They can take food in small pieces only. They feel taking warm drinks help to relieve this complaint. They also feel pressure pain in the region of esophagus as if it is contracted or compressed. This occurs mostly during swallowing.
Carbo veg – With Heartburn and Pain in Epigastrium
Carbo veg is helpful for managing heartburn and pain in epigastrium. The pain in epigastrium can be aching or burning type. The pain gets worse after eating. Epigastric region is also very sensitive. Sensation of rawness in the food pipe and stomach are also felt.
Belladonna – For Difficult and Painful Swallowing
This medicine is prepared from plant deadly nightshade. It belongs to family solanaceae. It is very effective to manage complaints of difficult and painful swallowing. Persons needing it have to swallow water to move down the solid food. They also feel burning, stinging and dryness in the food pipe. Sometimes contraction in esophagus is also felt. Along with this, pain in stomach, nausea, vomiting may also be present.
Rhus Tox – For Difficult Swallowing
It is a significant medicine for cases having difficulty swallowing. In such cases there is difficulty and pain in swallowing solids. When food reaches a particular point in the food pipe it gets difficult to go down further from inflammation at this point. This medicine is also indicated for managing cases of esophagitis occurring after corrosive substances.
Veratrum Viride – With Nausea and Vomiting
This medicine is prepared from the fresh root of a plant commonly known as American White Hellebore also called as Indian Poke. It belongs to the family melanthiaceae of the Liliaceae. Use of this medicine is considered when there is nausea and vomiting in these cases. Along with this burning is marked in the food pipe with constant desire to swallow. It is most helpful for acute cases of esophagitis.
Gelsemium – With Sensation of Something Lodged in Esophagus
Homeopathic medicine Gelsemium is prepared from the bark of the root of plant Gelsemium Sempervirens commonly known as yellow jasmine. This plant belongs to family loganiaceae. The main indication to use this medicine is sensation of something lodged in the esophagus. Pain attends to this. Cramping sensation is also felt in esophagus. Another accompanying symptom is burning in esophagus that can extend to the stomach.
Iodum – For Inflammation and Ulcers of Esophagus
This medicine is prominent for cases in which inflammation and ulcers of esophagus are there. Persons needing it have a sensation of burning and scraping in the food pipe. They also feel pain in the food pipe. Swallowing is also difficult among them.