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Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE)

Are you having difficulty swallowing food that results in poor growth, chronic chest pain, and vomiting (mostly in children)? Chances are you may have a chronic allergic inflammatory disease of the esophagus, called Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE).

EoE occurs when white blood cells build up in the esophagus (the tube connecting the mouth to the stomach), causing injury and inflammation to its inner walls. Despite the fact that EoE is not completely understood, the belief is that it’s triggered by an allergic reaction to certain foods and airborne allergens. It’s also linked with the other allergic conditions such as asthma and atopic dermatitis (eczema). In some cases, it seems to run in the family.

EoE is a newly recognized disease. About, 1 out of 2000 is affected. And probably, it’s more common than we think. Not so long ago, it was considered a children’s disease and often mistaken for acid reflux (gastroesophageal reflux disease).

Now it’s more and more diagnosed in people of all ages and ethnic backgrounds, with a slightly higher occurrence in males.

Common symptoms include difficulty swallowing, poor appetite, chest or abdominal pain, reflux, nausea or vomiting, and weight loss. Infants and toddlers with EoE can refuse food, older kids develop picky eating habits, and adults tend to cut food into small pieces and drink a lot of water to get it down.

To diagnose the condition, a doctor will perform an upper endoscopy – inserting a small tube through the mouth to examine the esophagus. If you’re diagnosed with EoE, treatment can include medications or diet.

In some cases, both medications and dietary therapy may be used together. However, it requires several healthcare professionals to constantly monitor and manage the patient’s plan of treatment.

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