Scleroderma is a disease characterized by the development of scar-like tissue, causing stiffening and hardening of tissues. Scleroderma is classified as one of the autoimmune diseases. It is a chronic condition that is not contagious, infections or cancerous. Scleroderma can develop in every age group from infants to the elderly, but it is most typically diagnosed between the ages of 25-55.
The exact cause of scleroderma is unknown, but it is believed to be related to an overproduction of collagen, the main component of connective tissue in our bodies.
Scleroderma can weaken your lower esophageal sphincter (LES).
Many years ago, Schatzki described a smooth, benign, circumferential, and narrow ring of tissue in the lower end of the esophagus (the food pipe that connects the mouth to the stomach). These rings are located just above the junction between the esophagus and the stomach. These rings are very common, occurring in more than 6% of the population. The cause of these rings is not clearly understood, some doctors believe they are caused by long-term damage from stomach acid reflux.
Presbyesophagus is a term used to describe an abnormal shape of the swallowing tube (esophagus) that occurs in some individuals. In this situation, the esophagus appears wavier than a typically straight esophagus. This change may impact esophageal movement (motility). The term presbyesophagus (presby is Latin for old) was originally used to describe a change in esophagus movement related to aging even though there has been limited evidence that aging by itself causes trouble swallowing.
Non-cardiac chest pain is chest discomfort that does not arise from a cardiovascular (heart-related) source. A thorough cardiac evaluation by a cardiologist should be performed to be sure that the pain is not heart related. Chest discomfort can be described in a number of ways including pressure or fullness, burning, aching or pain, squeezing, sharp, or dull.
Laryngopharyngeal reflux disease is a disorder pertaining to the voice box, vocal cords, and the upper esophagus. Acid backing up from the stomach and into the esophagus can sometimes reach the upper esophagus (pharynx) and affect structures in the area (voice box and vocal cords). Acid can cause irritation to the tissues and result in symptoms in some patients. Typical symptoms include upper respiratory problems such as asthma and chronic cough.
A hernia occurs when part of the body bulges into another. Your chest and abdomen are separated by your diaphragm - a large dome-shaped muscle that is responsible for a major part of breathing. A hiatal hernia occurs when the top portion of the stomach pushes through a weakened opening in the diaphragm where the food pipe (esophagus) joins your stomach (called the hiatal opening).
Globus - Latin for ball - describes the sensation of a lump in the throat.
The exact cause of globus is unknown, but it may be related to abnormal esophagus sensitivity, abnormal activity of the esophagus muscles or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Globus sensation can also occur with anxiety, stress or other strong emotions as well as sinus drainage or upper esophagus irritation.
The esophagus is a muscular tube that connects the mouth with the stomach. It carries food and liquids to the stomach. There are two main types of cancer that occur in the esophagus. Squamous cell carcinoma is more common in the upper part of the esophagus and adenocarcinoma is more common the lower part of the esophagus. Esophageal cancer affects men more often than women, affects African Americans more often than Caucasians and is more common in people over age 55.
If you have a problem swallowing foods or liquids, you may have dysphagia. This means it may take more time and effort to move food or liquid from your mouth to your stomach. Difficulty swallowing may also be associated with pain. In some cases you may not be able to swallow.
Dysphagia occurs when there's a problem with any part of the swallowing process.
Dysphagia can be caused by any of the following:
What is diffuse esophageal spasm?
Diffuse esophageal spasm is a disorder pertaining to the movement (motility) of the esophagus and can disrupt normal swallowing ability or cause chest pain in some patients.