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Have cold and sore throat. Diagnosed with esophagitis and had a dilation procedure. Experience discomfort in swallowing. Endoscopy necessary?

Dec 2012
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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2012
Answered : 1694 Questions
2 months ago I developed a cold and sore throat; went to Dr. he said I had virus and it would get better. It did except I have had a constant sour/salty taste in my mouth for 2 months. 15 years ago I was diagnosed with esophagitis and had a esoph. dilation procedure. I sometimes experience discomfort swallowing food (especially if I eat too fast) as if esophagus is somewhat constricted. Have had no further contact with a GI specialist. Because of the salty taste i saw a family physician thinking I might need a referral to get an edoscopy to see if that would reveal cause of salty taste. I continue to have very salty phlegm draining from my sinuses.
She told me to take an acid blocker for 2 weeks to see if taste clears up. But I havent had noticeable acid reflux in recent months so that I doubt if that is causing the bad taste. Should I have an endoscopy?
Posted Sat, 2 Nov 2013 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Nsah Bernard 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Numerous possible causes of salty taste

Detailed Answer:
Hello XXXX,

Thanks for posting your query,

Taste changes are rarely a sign of a serious underlying problem. However, they are annoying and can impair your enjoyment of food. A persistent salty taste in the mouth can have many possible causes, including:

- Dehydration: This may be due to inadequate fluid intake or excessive fluid loss. Review your diet. Excessive intake of alcohol or caffeine can cause fluid loss, resulting in dehydration, which can make saliva saltier.
- Side effect of certain medications, such as anti-thyroid medications and chemotherapy drugs.
- Salivary gland diseases, such as Sjogren's syndrome or bacterial infection of the salivary glands (sialadenitis).
- Post-nasal drainage/drip, such as with a sinus infection (sinusitis) or allergies.

Rarely, a salty taste in the mouth is due to a nutritional deficiency, endocrine disorder or neurological disorder, such as epilepsy or migraine.

Treatment is directed at the underlying cause, if possible. For example, if a salty taste in the mouth is due to a certain medication, stopping or changing the medication may eliminate the problem. But do this only with your doctor's approval. If the cause of a salty taste is a bacterial infection, the salty taste may go away with treatment of the infection. Occasionally, taste changes resolve spontaneously.
in your situation, it is possible that your most probable cause is post-nasal drip given that you recently had a flu or allergy.
I suggest you see an ENT specialist for confirmation of the actual cause.
Oesophagitis or Barretts Esophagus could provoke acid reflux (or could be caused by the acid reflux) which could lead to the salty taste.
Since the problem might likely be coming from your gut, it will be well indicated to do an endoscopy.
So first is identifying the problem then treatment will follow.

Hope this helps and wish you the best.
Please feel free to write back with follow-up questions.
Dr. Nsah
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