What is eosinophilic esophagitis?
Eosinophilic Esophagitis (also known as EOE or EE) is a redness and inflammation of the lining of the esophagus, the swallowing tube that connects the mouth to the stomach. During your upper endoscopy, the doctor may have seen many rings or ridges in your esophagus.
What causes eosinophilic esophagitis?
In eosinophilic esophagitis, a type of white blood cell (eosinophil) builds up in your esophagus, as a reaction to foods, allergens or acid reflux. When that happens, the eosinophils can inflame or injure the esophageal tissue. It is not exactly clear what causes eosinophilic esophagitis, although it may be related to other allergic diseases.
What are the symptoms of eosinophilic esophagitis?
Some people have no symptoms. Others may have some symptoms of difficulty swallowing or food getting stuck in the esophagus, heartburn, indigestion, nausea, vomiting and weight loss. Please call your doctor if your symptoms get worse.
How is eosinophilic esophagitis treated?
During your upper endoscopy, a biopsy, or a small sample of the esophageal tissue was removed and sent to a laboratory to determine an exact cause of your esophagitis. A high number of eosinophils in the tissue show eosinophilic esophagitis.
There is no one accepted therapy for all patients with eosinophilic esophagitis.
- Modifying your diet to eliminate certain foods that are causing allergens is suggested. The most common foods that cause allergies are milk, soy, egg, wheat, nuts or seafood. If the symptoms improve, foods are reintroduced one at a time to help identify the food trigger. A dietitian may help you with this diet therapy.
- If symptoms persist, medication that blocks the stomach from producing acid may be recommended by your doctor.
- Testing for certain food allergies, by blood work and/or an allergist may also be suggested.
What is the prognosis for esophagitis?
- There is limited information about the natural history of this condition in adults.
- It may be a chronic reoccurring situation with or without symptoms.
- Some people may develop difficulty swallowing requiring esophageal dilations.
- Repeat Upper Endoscopies are recommended in whom symptoms have changed or who require esophageal dilation.
- Currently treatment is directed at controlling symptoms and trying to reduce eosinophil levels in the tissue.