About eosinophilic esophagitis
Eating and drinking; chewing and swallowing. These seemingly simple tasks can become uncomfortable, painful and difficult when a child has eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE). This chronic, allergic condition causes the esophagus (the tube that carries food and liquid from the mouth to the stomach) to become inflamed and swollen. Typically, it’s caused by a reaction to a food.
It can be difficult to watch your child struggle with EoE – whether they’re refusing food or experiencing pain when eating or drinking. We understand your concern and your child’s frustration. That’s why we take a team approach to diagnose, treat and manage EoE. We work with specialists from different departments, including allergy and immunology, gastroenterology, feeding therapy, nutrition and many others.
Is eosinophilic esophagitis common in children?
EoE only affects about 1 to 4 individuals out of every 10,000 people in the U.S., but there is growing awareness about this condition. With that awareness comes more diagnosis – and help and healing.
Causes of eosinophilic esophagitis
Eosinophils are white blood cells that are part of your body’s immune system. They help fight off infections and diseases and boost inflammation. Typically, they are made in your bone marrow and travel to different tissues. Children with EoE have eosinophils in their esophagus – where they shouldn’t be. These eosinophils cause inflammation in the esophagus, which leads to swelling, pain or difficulty swallowing.
Signs of eosinophilic esophagitis
Your child’s symptoms of EoE can vary greatly based on the severity of the condition, age of your child and the type of food (or allergen) encountered. Common signs of EoE include:
- Chest pain
- Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing)
- Food gets stuck in the throat
- Poor weight gain
- Recurring abdominal pain
- Refusal to eat
- Sensitivity to food textures
What can you do about eosinophilic esophagitis?
There are different treatment options that can help relieve your child’s symptoms and struggles with EoE. The first step is to make a diagnosis and then take a very evidence-based approach to treatment. We have a clinic dedicated to the care and management of EoE – a clinic that offers your child and family easy and convenient access to the doctors, providers and specialists your child needs to be at their best.
Together, we’ll develop a plan that’s best for your child, which may include:
- Dietary changes to avoid food triggers
- Medication to help relieve symptoms
- Nutritional support via the expertise of a nutritionist