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I have heard esophagus is hollow tube that leads food from the mouth to the stomach. I know the walls of the esophagus propel food to the stomach not by gravity. I have also read it is done by rhythmic waves of muscular contractions called peristalsis. All this interested me so I wish to hear more about this important part of human body. Could you tell me more, for example, how esophagus works and does it have some disorders to occur?

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Just below the junction of the throat and the esophagus is just a band of muscle called the upper esophageal sphincter. Slightly above the junction of the esophagus and the stomach, there is another band of muscle. This one is called the lower esophageal sphincter. When the esophagus is not in use, these sphincters contract so that food and stomach acid do not flow up to the mouth. During swallowing, the sphincters relax so food can pass to the stomach, which is their main role. Problem occurs because with age, the strength of esophageal contractions and the tension in the sphincters decrease. This condition is called presbyesophagus, and it makes older people more prone to backflow of acid from the stomach. It happens especially when lying down after eating, and this has been called gastroesophageal reflux. Two of the most common symptoms of esophageal disorders are dysphagia, which means an awareness of difficulty in swallowing, and chest or back pain. This problem may occur in any esophageal disorder, the most serious of which is esophageal cancer.
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