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From: Jo Stepaniak (
Subject: Re: Q about inflammation in esophagus
Date: February 9, 2007 at 5:23 am PST

In Reply to: Q about inflammation in esophagus posted by joanne on February 8, 2007 at 10:56 am:

Reflux disease is caused by a relaxed or enlarged esophageal sphincter. When it occurs in adults, it usually is caused or exacerbated by overweight or diet (the foods that Leslie mentioned). A high-fat diet, even if it's raw, can make symptoms worse. However, GERD can affect children, too -- especially infants. In that case, diet has little to do with the problem. It is in essence a "birth defect" that is usually complicated by other health issues. Sometimes surgery is needed to close the esophageal sphincter a bit more. Although diet can help with management, it cannot cure this physiological problem. The drugs, however, come with their own set of side effects that can cause further complications (one is the possible inhibition of calcium absorption from foods). But if the matter isn't resolved, it indeed could create dangerous medical concerns down the road (including esophageal cancer). Surgery might be necessary if the problem cannot be managed effectively otherwise. Get at least a second opinion before starting with the drugs or trying dietary changes.

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