But patients over 55 years of age who suffer from frequent heartburn and have symptoms of esophagitis of the esophagus must undergo an endoscopic examination. Reflux esophagitis in adults is manifested by difficulty in swallowing any food, pain and discomfort when eating and swallowing saliva, burning behind the sternum, an unpleasant sensation of a foreign body in the esophagus, belching, nausea, and vomiting. Odynophagia - pain in the esophagus during the passage of food occurs with complicated reflux esophagitis.
Symptoms of GERD, such as pain in the chest and esophagus, mimic angina pectoris, since the pain radiates to the neck, between the shoulder blades, and the lower jaw. But, unlike angina pectoris, esophageal pains are stopped by taking alkaline mineral water or soda. Also, esophageal pain is characterized by its connection with food and body position. Some patients develop arrhythmias, which are often associated with eating and changing the position of the body. In addition, symptoms of reflux esophagitis in adults with prolonged course may include weight loss due to malnutrition and signs of anemia due to malnutrition.
If over time the patient develops persistent dysphagia (impaired swallowing) and the severity of heartburn decreases in parallel, then this may indicate the development of a complication in the form of esophageal stenosis. In 50% of patients with GERD, the reflux agent is acidic, in 39% it is mixed (acidic with bile), and in 10% of patients bile reflux occurs. Its appearance is associated with the entry of the contents of the duodenum into the esophagus. Among the aggressive components, bile acids are the most important, the action of which is most well studied, and they are of primary importance in mucosal damage.