Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Options of Candida Esophagitis

Candida esophagitis can affect anyone, however, it is more likely to occur in babies use inhaled cortico steroids, wear dentures or have a weak immune system. Oral thrush and esophagitis is a minor problem if you are healthy, but in case of a weak immune system, the symptoms become very severe and difficult to manage.

It occurs due to the fungus Candida albicans, when it accumulates on the lining of your mouth and throat. It results in creamy white lesions, on the tongue and back of the mouth. Lesions may be painful and may bleed occasionally.

Causes of Candida Esophagitis

Candida esophagitis occurs when the immune mechanism gets compromised by a disease or cortico steroid drugs, or when anti biotics upset the natural equilibrium of microbes in the body.

Normally, the immune system repels and fights dangerous invading microbes, and also maintains a balance between the ‘bad’ and ‘beneficial’ microbes. At times these defense mechanisms stop working and consequently, Candida esophagitis takes hold. Cancer, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy weaken the immune system and make you more prone to the infection. HIV also compromises the immune mechanisms significantly making you more susceptible. Untreated diabetes encourages the growth of Candida.

Candida Esophagitis Symptoms

  • You will notice white lesions on the inner aspect of the cheeks, tongue, gums, roof of the mouth, back of the throat and tonsils
  • Lesions are creamy, cheese like
  • They are painful
  • Bleeding occurs when the lesions are scraped
  • Cottony sensation in the mouth
  • Difficulty whilst swallowing
  • Sensation as if food is getting stuck in the throat
  • Loss of taste

Candida Esophagitis Treatment

The chief aim of the treatment is to end the quick spread of the Candida fungus, your health care provider will recommend:

  • Acidophilus capsules help re-establish the normal bacterial flora in the body
  • Anti fungal medications – tablets, liquid or lozenges
  • If you are breast feeding an infant who has infection, both you and your baby need to be treated.
    Otherwise, the infection passes back and forth. A mild anti fungal medicine for the baby is essential, and you need to apply an anti fungal cream on your breasts. Rinse pacifiers in a solution of vinegar and water in equal measure everyday and allow them to air dry to put off fungal growth. If you use a breast pump, rinse in a vinegar and water solution as well.
  • Ensure that you have good oral hygiene. Brush twice daily and floss once every day. Change the toothbrush frequently until the infection resolves. Keep away from mouthwashes; they alter the normal flora within the mouth. Never share toothbrushes.
  • Warm salt water rinses are beneficial. Swish the salt water and spit it out, do not swallow.
  • Step up your intake of vitamin C foods, such as, limes, lemons, oranges and apples. You may also take a vitamin C supplement; it will expedite cure.
  • Eating unsweetened yogurt
  • Amphotericin B: Candida albicans tends to become resistant to anti fungal drugs, particularly in HIV infected people. This drug is effective when other medications fail.

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