Symptoms Of Herpes Infection In Esophagus: Causes & Treatment

Herpes of the esophagus is a viral infection caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1. The esophagus carries food and liquids from the mouth to the stomach. Infection of the esophagus results in an inflammation and can greatly damage to the esophageal and throat tissues.

Herpetic esophagitis is not very common in healthy people.

Those who have a weak immune mechanism are at an increased risk of developing herpes of the esophagus.

Herpes infection of the esophagus is characterized by:

  • Difficulty in swallowing food and drinks and open sores in the mouth. Swallowing is painful because of inflammation and ulceration.
  • Fever with chills
  • Pain in the joints
  • Weakness and malaise

How Do You Get Herpes In Esophagus?

Herpes of the esophagus is caused by the HSV 1 and is the same virus which causes cold sores. It is communicated via mouth to mouth contact. The virus spreads through infected saliva. You tend to develop an infection of the throat through close contact with an individual who has mouth sores, mouth ulcers, or infections of the eye.

HSV 2 is another form of the herpes virus that spreads via skin to skin contact and results in genital herpes.

HSV 2 seldom causes herpes infection of the esophagus.

By and large, if you have a strong immune system, you will not develop herpes esophagitis, even after being infected by HSV 1. Risk increases in case you have – a malignancy, AIDS, diabetes mellitus, or an organ transplant.

Alcohol abuse as well as long-term anti-biotic treatment are significant triggers. Taking oral medications which could afflict your esophageal lining can also increase your risk.

Alternative Treatments For Herpes Esophagitis

  • Your healthcare provider will prescribe you anti-viral drugs. Over-the-counter or prescription analgesics will help allay the discomfort and pain in the throat; so confer with your health care provider. Your doctor may also prescribe medicines on a long-term basis to help ward off against recurring herpetic infections.
  • Ginger and turmeric are really effective herbal remedies to reduce the inflammation and pain in the throat. Boil one teaspoon of powdered turmeric and one teaspoon of powdered ginger root and have 2 to 3 glasses daily.
  • Vitamin C supplements are effective too; they help battle the infection and should be taken with your other medications.
  • Homeopathy drugs afford relief as well. Borax, Nux vomica, and Lycpodium are homeopathic medicines which proffer immense relief.
  • The recovery time varies from person to person, depending upon the state of health. Those having a healthy immune mechanism tend to respond rapidly to the treatment regimen and improve within 5 to 7 days. Those with a complicated medical condition or a weak immune system need more time to heal.
  • The ulcers, sores and scarring make it rather difficult to swallow food and drink. Talk to your doctor and opt for very light, liquid diets for at least 15 to 20 days. Juices, broths, teas and soups are ideal. A life threatening complication is perforation of the esophagus, which is a big medical crisis.

Prognosis is fairly good; and most people with herpes of the esophagus don’t seem to have any serious long-term health issues.