A dysfunction of the esophagus describes several conditions in which the esophagus cannot function normally. For example, gastroesophageal reflux is one of the common results of a dysfunction of the esophagus. It is recommended to visit a gastroenterologist for a further check if there are any related symptoms.
The esophagus is a long and hollow tube that connects the throat and stomach together, and its function is to transport food into the stomach. The esophagus is made of smooth muscles, which transport the food with peristaltic waves, and an upper and lower sphincter, which close the end of the esophagus if necessary. A dysfunction of the esophagus results from either abnormal muscular contractions of the smooth esophagus muscles or abnormal function of the upper or lower sphincter.
The causes of a dysfunction of the esophagus could either be an abnormal contraction of the smooth esophagus muscles or abnormal functioning of the upper or lower sphincter. 1) Dysfunction of the upper parts of the esophagus often results from an excessive muscular contraction of the esophagus (esophagus spasm), which leads to difficulty in swallowing and drinking. Typical symptoms of esophageal spasm are globus sensation in the throat, pain in the chest and regurgitation of food. 2) Dysfunctions of the lower esophagus can result from either a high or a low muscular contraction of the esophagus and its lower sphincter. If the contraction of the lower sphincter is too strong, while the peristaltic smooth muscle waves are too weak, it will prevent the food from passing into the stomach, so it gets stuck in the esophagus (achalasia). Typical symptoms are problems with swallowing, pain in the chest and upper abdomen and regurgitation of food. 3.) If the contraction of the lower sphincter is too weak, it may lead to a flow back of acidic gastric contents into the esophagus, which causes damage on the esophageal mucosa. This is a common problem that is referred to as gastroesophageal reflux. People with gastroesophageal reflux may have symptoms like heartburn, chest pain, painful swallowing or coughing at night. The typical symptom of heartburn means a painful burning sensation in the upper abdomen or the chest, which worsens after eating and at night while lying horizontally.
The treatments of a dysfunction of esophagus include medications and rarely a surgery. The treatment will depend on the specific problem. For example, medication such as calcium channel blockers can help to relax the muscles of the esophagus when the dysfunction is caused by intense muscular contractions. And if the dysfunction is caused by weak muscular contractions of the esophagus, which causes the gastroesophageal reflux, it is often treated by medication such as antacids. However, in some severe cases, surgery to repair the function of the esophagus is necessary.
Several years of work in academia, medical practice and finally commercialization make it possible to provide an end-to-end process to help users to “find the appropriate medical help based on their present symptoms”. Below you will find a short explanation, showing you which part of the platform will help you best in finding the appropriate medical support.
Proceed as follows to enter your current symptoms.
Click on the appropriate body part on the picture. Select one/multiple symptoms corresponding to your complaint.
You can also add symptoms by typing your medical complaint in the search box and selecting the best matching suggestion.
Note: Your information will be kept anonymously.
Once you have selected all applicable symptoms, click the “analyze disease pattern”-button.
Accordingly, you will get a list of possible diseases and matching doctor categories who can further help you.
You can inform yourself about the possible diseases by reading the related information. But you can also return to the previous step and add more symptoms or delete already added ones to further narrow down your disease pattern.
Click on the desired doctor category to find a doctor who can help you.
If you are logged in with your profile, you will be displayed the appropriate doctors in your area. Otherwise you can enter an address in the “address” field and you will be displayed a doctor’s list around that specified address.
You will receive further information about the displayed doctors when you press on “details”.
Online bookable doctors in your area will be indicated with the notation “Book appointment” or “Book externally”, additionally they will be displayed on top of the list for your convenience.
Click on “Book appointment” to start the online appointment booking process with the desired doctor.
Please select an available appointment. “Green“ appointments are booked directly. “Red“ appointments need to be confirmed by the doctor.
Enter your general personal and health information.
Enter your present medical symptoms.
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