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Distal esophagitis
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Distal esophagitis

Does anyone know what this is? My husband had an upper GI with small bowel follow through and it said in the report "mild dilatation of the distal third of the esophagus suggests distal esophagitis." I have been trying to find anything about this on the internet but have not been able to. Does anyone know? Thanks so much!
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Your husband has Distal Esophagitis. Distal means the lower most part of the esophagus. Esophagitis is inflamation (inflammation) of the mucosal layer of the esophagus. This usually occurs from acid refluxing from the stomach into the esophagus. Mild dilatation means that there a mild widening of the esophagus. I'm no sure if his doctor did the dilatation as part of treatment for esophageal narrowing.
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There's plenty of great informative info online regarding reflux esophagitis. Ditsal does mean the bottom half, but "Esophagitis" is just that, regardless of where it's located. Inflamation (inflammation). This is noramlly treated with acid reducing medication and the treatment is usually 4-8 weeks. Treatment "Must" be taken and should be taken to avoid complications. "Follow" the GI's instrustions and make sure your husband takes his medicine. PPI's should be taken in the AM one hour before meals and sometimes they are taken at night as well. Again, before meals on an empty stomach! DIET is key! Avoid cola's, coffee, tea, acidic juices and FOODS. No tomatoes products. A healthy diet IS really important. Try going to google.com and searching esophagitis, as well as diet info. Heartburn-help.com is a great place to learn more and speak to others with the same condition.

Good luck-
Jenn
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Thanks you guys for all of the info. We knew he had acid reflux, he also has barretts esophagis and has been on prevacid 30 mg. twice daily for about 4 years now.No other meds help and prevacid once a day does nothing for him. He gave up smoking, alcohol(even thjough he hardly drank before), caffene,spicy foods and tomato type stuff, 4 years ago when diagnosed with barretts. I'm wondering why he still has this then? He is very good at avoiding foods and such that are bad for him. Well, I will look more up on just esophagitis. Thanks again.........Tanya
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Your husband has done the right things in terms of changes in diet and lifestyle. You do not mention if the head of his bed is elevated. It should be, to let gravity help keep the acid where it belongs at night.

I suspect the reason that your husband still has esophagitis even with those changes is because of a weak Lower Esophageal Sphincter ("LES"). As you probably know, the LES is the pressure differential at the junction between the esophagus and the stomach that, if functioning propoerly, prevents acid from backing up into the esophagus (reflux). This is what caused the Barrett's esophagus in the first place. The fact that there is still irritation suggests ongoing problems with reflux, which is a dangerous condition for a person with Barrett's. Barrett's is pre-cancerous, but can be stopped in its tracks if the acid reflux is stopped. If the reflux continues, the cellular changes in the esophagus can continue. Although it is rare (12,000 new cases per year in the U.S. out of a population base of 290,000,000), esophageal cancer is a risk for the barrett's patient if reflux is not brought under control.

Ask your husband's GI to do a ph test on his esophagus. If the reflux continues despite the wise behavioral modifications your husband has already made, you will want to insist upon endoscopic biopsies of the esophagus once a year, and consult with your husband's GI about the possibility of surgery to tighten the LES. The annual biopsies are important to diagnose any further cellular changes from the Barrett's as early as possible, as early detection and treatment dramatically improves prognosis. The consideration of surgery to strengthen the LES is not as invasive as it was 12-15 years ago, and should be discussed with your medical team.

I know you posted a couple of days ago, and recieved good advice. I hope, however, you are still reading, because there is more you need to know and consider about Barrett's if the reflux cannot be controlled!!

With best regards,
Chicken Soup
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Thank you for your response. My husband does get the yearly scope with biopsies. So far, it hasn't gotten much worse but Iam still worried about this esophagitis, considering everything he is on and evverything he has changed. I will bring this up though, we are going to the mayo clinic, one week from today. While we are there, we will ask the GI doc about the surgery for that muscle and see what he thinks. Thanks again........Tanya
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You couldn't be in better hands than the Mayo Clinic.

Best of luck. I'll keep you both in my thoughts and prayers.
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Thanks so much!!!
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