Understanding Esophageal Stricture Symptoms

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Contrary to popular belief, esophageal stricture symptoms may not have a sudden onset that is life threatening. Many times, the individual may have symptoms long before the condition becomes a serious problem. Esophageal stricture is the narrowing of the passageway between the stomach and the mouth; if left unchecked, serious health issues may arise.

What are Common Symptoms of Esophageal Stricture?

Typically, the main symptoms of this particular disorder will consist of unintentional weight loss, difficulty swallowing, and sometimes the regurgitation of food. Some patients may also experience pain when swallowing. While these symptoms will ultimately vary by the individual, difficulty swallowing is the chief complaint among those suffering from esophageal stricture. However, some patients report symptoms closely related to the discomfort of acid reflux and similar disorders involving the esophagus.

What Causes This?

Esophageal stricture symptoms such as difficulty and/or painful swallowing are caused directly by the narrowing of the passageway. Food is sometimes regurgitated because the esophagus can become so restricted that it may not be able to pass the contents on to the stomach. These symptoms alone can play a role in the weight loss that often accompanies the condition. The individual is often less inclined to eat due to fears of choking and the inability to swallow. Regurgitation has the same effect, by limiting the intake of food. Therefore, adequate nutrition and weight becomes hard to maintain.

How Can Esophageal Stricture Symptoms Be Managed?

To effectively manage the symptoms of this esophageal disorder, the patient must receive treatment from a physician. While the treatment may depend on why the esophagus has become constricted, dilating the esophagus is necessary and surgery is not usually required. Medications may also be prescribed to help reduce the risk of the stricture returning and may help alleviate the discomfort. Symptoms will persist until the esophagus has been dilated in the majority of cases.

Those experiencing any of these esophageal symptoms should contact a physician before they escalate. Aspiration, choking, and other life threatening situations can occur. Based on the health criteria provided, tests can be ordered to decipher if what the individual is suffering from is indeed esophageal stricture.

References

MedlinePlus. National Institute of Health. 30, November 2009. Viewed 16, December 2009. https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000207.htm

New York University. Langone Medical Center. Viewed 16, December 2009. 2008 NYU Langone Medical Center. https://www.med.nyu.edu/patientcare/library/article.html?ChunkIID=100271