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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Esophagitis is inflammation or irritation of the lining of the esophagus.
Call 911 for any of the following:
- You have chest pain that does not go away within a few minutes or gets worse.
Return to the emergency department if:
- You feel like you have food stuck in your throat and you cannot cough it out.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You have new or worsening symptoms, even after treatment.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
- Medicines may be given to fight an infection or to control stomach acid.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
You may need ongoing tests or treatment. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Do not smoke:
Nicotine can damage blood vessels and make it more difficult to manage your esophagitis. Do not use e-cigarettes or smokeless tobacco in place of cigarettes or to help you quit. They still contain nicotine. Ask your healthcare provider for information if you currently smoke and need help quitting.
Do not drink alcohol:
Alcohol can irritate your esophagus. Talk to your healthcare provider if you need help to stop drinking.
Keep batteries and similar objects out of the reach of children:
Babies often put items in their mouths to explore them. Button batteries are easy to swallow and can cause serious damage. Keep the battery covers of electronic devices such as remote controls taped closed. Store all batteries and toxic materials where children cannot get to them. Use childproof locks to keep children away from dangerous materials.
Manage or prevent esophagitis:
- Limit or do not eat foods that can lead to esophagitis. Foods such as oranges and salsa can irritate your esophagus. Caffeine and chocolate can cause acid reflux. High-fat and fried foods make your stomach digest food more slowly. This increases the amount of stomach acid your esophagus is exposed to.
- Prevent acid reflux. Do not bend over unless it is necessary. Acid may back up into your esophagus when you bend over. If possible, keep the head of your bed elevated while you sleep. This will help keep acid from backing up. Manage stress. Stress can make your symptoms worse or cause stomach acid to back up.
- Eat a variety of healthy foods. Healthy foods include fruits (not citrus), vegetables, low-fat dairy products, beans, whole-grain breads, and lean meats and fish. Eat small meals, and drink water with your meals. Do not eat for at least 3 hours before you go to bed. Soft foods such as yogurt and applesauce may help soothe your throat.
- Drink more liquid when you take pills. Drink a full glass of water when you take your pills. Ask your healthcare provider if you can take your pills at least an hour before you go to bed.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.