Scratched Esophagus: 4 Causes, 5 Symptoms, 5 Home Remedies

Scratched esophagus can make your eating and drinking very uncomfortable. So, let us explore its causes and remedies to get rid of it.

The oesophagus is not just a funny sounding term that you couldn’t pronounce while in elementary school. It is a muscular, hollow tube that links the mouth to the stomach.

The oesophagus is the passage through which food ingested through the mouth travels to the stomach. You can liken it to a major highway or a train track that facilitates movement of solid food matter and fluids from point A to point B.

This critical passage is not susceptible to physical injury or harm, thanks to it being so well sheltered inside the body. The proper working and structure of the oesophagus can be hindered by several afflictions that may bring about pain and discomfort.

If left unchecked, the causes that can damage the esophagus can bring about the difficulty in swallowing, ulcers forming on the lining of the lining of the esophagus, and scarring leading to a scratched esophagus or esophagus scratch.

In extreme cases, a condition called Barrett’s esophagus may develop which may trigger oesophagal cancer in the long run. It is therefore imperative to pursue treatment as soon as symptoms show up. Before we get to the symptoms and remedies of a scratched esophagus, it is important to highlight some of the possible causes to keep you on alert.

Scratched esophagus Causes:

scratched esophagus
Image source: health.com
Accidental Ingestion by Children:

If you can’t be there for your child’s every meal, then please have someone who cares enough watch what they put in their mouth.

Children tend to put random things in their mouth; please ensure that sharp objects are not among those things. Sharp objects when ingested can cause a scratched esophagus, which would bring about excruciating pain to the child.

Improper Chewing:

You should only swallow what you can chew. If you love to fish, then please sort the flesh from the bones before ingesting it. Use your tongue to feel for pointed or sharp solid objects in the food matter before swallowing; these three pieces of advice can save you from having a scratched esophagus.

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Acid Reflux:

Acid reflux is seen when there is a backflow of food from the stomach to the esophagus sometimes during a hiccup episode, irritating the esophagus. The gastric contents of the regurgitated food may cause a scratched esophagus due to their acidic nature.

Severe cases can bring about an affliction known as Gastro oesophagal reflux disease (GERD) which is a chronic digestive disorder.

Esophagitis:

This is a condition whereby there is an inflammation, irritation or infection of the esophagus. This can be caused by viral, bacterial and fungal infections as well as specific kinds of medication that may cause oesophagal swelling. You may also want to check your intake of tobacco as well as alcoholic drinks since they also may cause a scratched esophagus or esophagus scratch.

Scratched esophagus Symptoms:

As you understand the possible causes of a scratched esophagus, it’s time to delve into some of the symptoms that will give away this affliction.

Discomfort While Swallowing Food:

A bruised esophagus will irritate the affected area; this will cause swelling in the surrounding tissues, narrowing the food passage. An inflamed esophagus coupled with a narrow food passage will surely cause pain and difficulty while swallowing food and drinks.

Irritation while swallowing is horrible both for your physical and social well-being. It is challenging to look forward to meals when you have to deal with pain every time you consume.

When eating starts feeling like a chore, it can have adverse effects on your physical health. Imagine also being on a date, and having to grimace in pain each time you swallow food. These are some of the adverse effects a scratched esophagus can cause.

Severe Heartburn:

This is steady, sharp and burning pain that spreads down the esophagus causing pain beneath the breastbone and is typically referred to as heartburn. This occurs during acid reflux where gastric juices flow from the stomach and back to the lower esophagus.

Bleeding:

A scratched esophagus causes inflammation or irritation around it. Irritations while swallowing can cause nausea and eventual vomiting. The vomit may contain spots of blood occasioned by the scratching and scarring of the oesophagal lining.

The stool may also be spotted depending on how severe the case may be. In severe cases, blood vomits could occur. This raises a lot of concern since several types of blood vomit can drain you and lead to dangerously low blood count.

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Water Brash:

Water brash is also known as acid brash in some quarters. It is one of the symptoms of gastro oesophagal reflux disease. Assuming you are suffering from acid reflux, the stomach acid gets into your throat causing you glands to produce more saliva.

Water brash is when this excess saliva mixes with the stomach acids that have been regurgitated back into your mouth. This usually brings about a sour or bitter taste in the mouth.

Chest Pain:

When there is constant regurgitation, the stomach acids flow back and forth along your esophagus. This continuous flow of stomach acids will in due time cause erosion of the lower oesophagal lining leading to pain in the chest and breast area.

This sharp pain can be so severe at times, causing nausea, vomiting and escalated pain when hot food and fluids are ingested. When perforations caused by acidic erosion of the esophagus get too deep, the patient may experience occasional fainting episodes.

Now that you know the major causes and symptoms of a bruised esophagus let us look into some of the solutions available to patients.

A scratched esophagus can lead to agonising pain and misery to the patient, a lack of treatment or delayed treatment can lead to terminal conditions such as oesophagal cancer. It is therefore imperative to seek medication and treatment as soon as the symptoms mentioned earlier begin to manifest.

Scratched esophagus Treatment:

Treatment will be dependent on the cause and seriousness of the condition. A doctor’s diagnosis after physical tests and examination of the patient’s medical history is necessary. However, there are home remedies that work just as well, if not better. Here are some of the treatments for this painful and agonizing affliction.

Avoid Overly Acid and Spicy Food:

A frustrated person with a bruised esophagus may wonder “how long does a scratched throat take to heal?” Well, this is a common sense home remedy that will help your affliction go away quicker.

Acidic foods such as chocolate, tomatoes, citrus fruits, garlic, onions and spices will only serve to inflame your oesophagal wounds and cause further discomfort. These foods raise the acid levels in the stomach and may cause further inflammation and damage in case of acid reflux.

You also want to cross out “trip to KFC” from your to-do list. Ingesting fatty foods while on an inflamed oesophagal lining is like pouring gasoline to a fire. The coffee dates will also have to take a break since caffeine is also a big no-no.

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Quit Ingesting Hot Food:

We all love a sizzling hot plate of our favourite dishes. But if you are suffering from a scratched esophagus, you don’t get to eat anything your taste buds desire at least until a full recovery is confirmed.

Relax, you are also not being asked to resort to cold food and drinks; ensure the food taken is just slightly warm. This will make ingestion more comfortable, as opposed to swallowing hot substances that will only cause further injury and leave considerable damage.

Avoid Alcohol and Smoking:

This would be good to avoid vices and guilty pleasures that affect your health. Tobacco and alcohol have been identified as critical factors to all oesophagal problems. You may from now want to go easy on the bottle and resist the urge for a smoke.

A spirited deprivation of alcohol and tobacco for a few weeks or months could see a complete turnaround in your oesophagal health. Specialist help could also be required to help a patient gain the discipline needed to avoid tobacco and alcohol. If done successfully, the painful symptoms will undoubtedly go away leaving you happier and healthier.

Proper Chewing of Food:

This ailment can be easily avoided if food is adequately chewed and broken down before swallowing. It is also vital to ensure that pointed objects such as fish bones are not ingested to prevent bruising the oesophagal lining.

Watching what you eat and proper chewing can avert most of these problems. The answer to the question “how long does a scratched throat take to heal” depends on how quickly you seek help when symptoms begin to manifest and how seriously you implement the remedies listed above.

Switching to a Soft Diet:

You may want to change to soft diet to go easy on your esophagus. The point of taking such foods is to hasten to heal and reduce inflammation. Such foods may include rice, buttermilk, plain milk and a good old mug of porridge. Such bland foods will do wonders for you as you aim to eliminate the symptoms and ease the pain.

References:
  1. https://www.webmd.boots.com/digestive-disorders/oesophagitis
  2. http://www.simple-remedies.com/home-remedies/scratched-esophagus-causes-remedies.html
  3. https://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/esophagitis
  4. http://standardfirstaidcourses.ca/scratched-esophagus/
  5. http://www.pharmacytimes.com/resource-centers/gastrointestinal/reflux-esophagitis-sometimes-healing-takes-time
  6. https://www.healthline.com/health/water-brash

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