Posted 7/20/2014 6:55 PM (GMT -7)
Is esophagitis what the doctor said? Did they tell you what could have caused it? Have you ever suffered from on going acid reflux? I ask this, because you irritated the lining of your esophagus somehow, that's what esophagitis is. There's different causes though - infection, chronic vomiting, hiatal hernia, smoking and/or drinking, Aspirin and other anti-inflammatory drugs, GERD (which is weakness of the muscle between the stomach and esophagus). All those things I mentioned can cause acid reflux. Acid isn't a good thing to have in your esophagus, because it's not built like the stomach, it can't take the abuse of long periods of acid.
As for foods to avoid - Try to watch out for fatty foods, acidic foods and beverages, spicy foods, and try to avoid coffee, chocolate, alcohol, and soda. Also, try to eat smaller meals and softer foods. From personal experience, my doctor told me to avoid caffeine at all costs, which is hard for me, because I love energy drinks, which I think is one of the main reasons I ended up like this. He also said to not chew gum or suck on mints, and of course to stop smoking. He explained that when you put something in your mouth that isn't technically food (cigarettes, gum, mints) and you're not actually swallowing it, your stomach anticipates you to though, so it loosens up the base of the esophagus to let the "food" through, but when it finds out that no food is pushing through to the stomach, it lets the acid out and up into your esophagus instead. Other things that may help is to not lay down during or right after eating, take smaller bites and chew slower, avoid eating at least 3 hours before bedtime, and don't wear pants that may be too tight around the waist.
The medication may not work within 4 days, it depends on how irritated the esophagus is. I would say to give it a couple of weeks and if it's still not fully helping, go back to your doctor and see if another medication might be better for you. If you don't feel any kind of relief at all, your doctor may suggest you get an upper endoscopy to see what is really going on in there. Actually, my doctor prescribed me Zantac, which has made me feel 10 times better, but he STILL wants me to go in to have that procedure done, just to make sure he's not masking anything serious.
As for the pain, you may not get a burning sensation at all. Some people will get pains like they're having a heart attack, or milder ones. I get chest pains in the same places as you, but I never really get a burning feeling. My father for instance, he has a hernia (one that he's had for 20 years and refuses to get it fixed, so he lives on Prilosec to cope with the acid) and he will get chest pains after eating that are so instense that at times he did think he's having a heart attack.
It can be hard to cope with sometimes and can also be scary. I didn't know what was wrong with me for 6 months until I finally could get to a doctor and he told me that I have GERD. This has caused me to develop health anxiety also, because I worry it could be something worse when I feel pain. Just remember that you're not alone, there's millions of people that have acid reflux, from mild to chronic. I'm 26 and I never thought something like this would happen to me or make me feel so ill.