Eosinophilic Esophagitis, also known as EOE, is a chronic allergic/immune condition of the esophagus. The esophagus is the tube that leads food from the mouth to the stomach. Those with EOE have many white blood cells called eosinophils in the inner lining of their esophagus, where they should not be.  These eosinophil release substances into the surrounding tissue that then causes inflammation. This chronic inflammation can lead to other symptoms.

Symptoms of EOE

The symptoms related to EOE vary with the person’s age. Infants and toddlers refuse to eat, or they do not grow properly. Young children have recurring abdominal pain, decreased appetite, and trouble swallowing or vomiting. Young adults and adults can have these symptoms, and often have difficulty swallowing foods that are dry or dense. The inflammation of the esophagus causes the difficulty in swallowing and can even lead to “food impaction” where the food is firmly stuck in the esophagus. This can become a medical emergency if the food is not removed from the esophagus quickly.

How Does This Relate To Allergies?

Patients with EOE are usually atopic. This means that they have symptoms of one or more allergic disorder. These disorders include allergies, allergic rhinitis, atopic dermatitis, and asthma. If you are diagnosed with EOE and it is found out that allergies may be causing symptoms, it is important to receive allergy testing. This will allow you to properly treat your EOE by avoiding allergies that are worsening your condition.

Treating EOE

The treatment plan that is best for you will depend on your specific scenario. Those with food sensitivities can remove those specific foods from their diet, however this has shown little success in research studies. If you have an actual food allergy, removing this allergen from your diet is a reasonable treatment option. This option has shown great success, although it is difficult to maintain. It is important to discuss with an allergist about the options available that will provide you with the best solution. The allergists at National Allergy & ENT can assist you in treating your EOE. To schedule an appointment please call (843) 797-8162 or schedule online.

Source: aaaai.org