What causes EoE?
EoE is typically triggered by allergens in food or the environment. The exact cause can vary, but certain foods like dairy, eggs, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, and seafood are common culprits.
What are the symptoms of EoE?
Symptoms can include difficulty swallowing, chest pain, persistent heartburn, food getting stuck in the esophagus, and regurgitation. Children may exhibit growth issues, vomiting, and abdominal pain.
How is EoE diagnosed?
Diagnosis usually involves endoscopy and biopsy of the esophagus. An allergist or gastroenterologist will interpret the findings. Both specialists work with you and one another to manage EoE.
Is EoE the same as acid reflux or GERD?
No. While they share some symptoms, EoE and GERD are distinct conditions. EoE involves eosinophilic inflammation, whereas GERD is related to stomach acid irritation. Eosinophils can be seen in the esophagus from GERD as well but in much lower quantities.
Is there a cure for EoE?
There isn’t a known cure, but treatments can help manage and alleviate symptoms. If the root cause is due to a food allergen, elimination of the food can reduce the problem and place it into remission.
How is EoE treated?
Treatments include dietary therapy, proton pump inhibitors, and swallowed corticosteroids. The newest therapy is from biological drugs that can also help control EOE.
Can diet changes help?
Yes, eliminating common allergens and undergoing guided reintroduction can identify triggering foods. An elimination diet, under the guidance of a nutritionist, is often beneficial.
Is EoE common?
It’s becoming more recognized, with increasing diagnosis rates. However, it’s still considered a rare condition.
Can EoE lead to complications?
If untreated, it can cause esophageal scarring, narrowing, or strictures, making swallowing even more challenging. “Stretching” or dilation of the esophagus also conveys relief and should be performed by an experienced gastroenterologist; however dilation does not treat the underlying inflammation. Repeated stretching increases the risk for tearing and rupture.
Is regular monitoring required?
Yes. Regular check-ups with a gastroenterologist or allergist are vital to monitor the condition and adjust treatments.
What is the relationship between Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) and asthma?
A: EoE and asthma are both allergic conditions characterized by eosinophilic inflammation in different parts of the body: the esophagus for EoE and the airways for asthma. They share common immune pathways, can coexist in an individual due to similar genetic and environmental triggers, and sometimes have overlapping treatments, such as corticosteroids. However, despite these similarities, they’re distinct conditions with specific diagnostic methods and primary treatments.
Eosinophilic esophagitis is a complex condition, but with proper understanding and management, those affected can lead full, symptom-managed lives. Regularly consult with healthcare professionals to stay updated on the latest treatments and recommendations.
The evaluation and care of EoE are unique to each patient. If you suspect you have EoE, or have already been diagnosed, expert allergists at Midwest Allergy Sinus Asthma can determine the role of food allergy in your condition and your treatment options, including biological medications. To schedule an appointment, call our office at 309-452-0995 or 217-717-4404.
We always have an on-going paid clinical trials for interested patients. Please visit our clinical trials page to see if you are eligible and would like to participate in the program to get close care from your provider and benefit research.