Is food sticking in your food tube? think Eosinophilic Esophagitis.
What is eosinophilic esophagitis?
Inflammation with white blood cells called eosinophils in the tube that connects the throat to the stomach called the esophagus. The exact cause is not known. Diet can be a factor. Long-term diet changes and/or medicine will often control the disease.
What are the symptoms of eosinophilic esophagitis?
- Feeding problems and vomiting in infants and young children
- Vomiting or stomach pain in school age children
- Swallowing problems (dysphagia) in older children and teens
- Food getting stuck in the esophagus, called food impaction in older kids/adults
- Acid reflux symptoms that don’t improve with heartburn treatments like antacids, Zantac or Prilosec
Who tends to get eosinophilic esophagitis?
Anyone can develop it, but it happens more often in school-age children, boys, and in families prone to allergy problems.
How is eosinophilic esophagitis diagnosed?
A small piece of tissue is taken (biopsy) from the esophagus during a procedure called Endoscopy by a GI doctor. This is the only way to check on the status of the disease.
How is eosinophilic esophagitis treated?
A team of providers includes a GI doctor who performs the endoscopy and biopsy, an Allergist who performs allergy testing to foods and environmental allergens, and a Dietitian who gives advice on nutrition. Treatment is based on severity, allergies, and ability to follow the plan. Taking foods out of the diet, taking medicine, or both may be necessary.
What happens in the long run?
Most often it will not go away on its own. Without treatment there may be scarring and adults may end up on a mostly liquid diet. Regular stretching of the esophagus, called dilatation may be needed.
Where can I get more information?
- The American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders (APFED) www.apfed.org
- The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) www.foodallergy.org
- The Food Allergy Project www.foodallergyproject.org
This information is solely for informational purposes and not intended as a substitute for consultation with a medical professional.