Eosinophilic esophagitis is a rare disorder that involves elevated levels of eosinophils (a type of white blood cell that fights allergens) in the esophagus causing inflammation that leads to problems with eating and drinking.
In a child with eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), eosinophils (a type of white blood cell that fights allergens) unusually accumulate in the lining of the esophagus (tube that connects the mouth to the stomach). This collection of eosinophils can react to foods, allergens or acid reflux, and it can lead to inflammation or injury of the tissue of the esophagus. Inflamed (swollen) esophageal tissue can cause problems when a child tries to swallow or eat food.
EoE is a type of eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorder (EGID) that is closely related to eosinophilic gastritis (EG), eosinophilic gastroenteritis (EGE) or eosinophilic colitis (EC). EoE affects males more than females. Like other EGIDs, EoE might be associated with other atopic conditions such as food allergies, asthma and atopic dermatitis.
Foods most often trigger EoE inflammation. Sometimes swallowed pollens might also trigger EoE inflammation. However, why an individual reacts to certain foods or pollens to trigger EoE inflammation is unknown.
Treating EoE with a comprehensive plan
Talk with your pediatrician about the symptoms of EoE. He or she will tell you that in young children, EoE may cause chronic vomiting and poor growth. Older children may describe difficulty swallowing. Symptoms may include a combination of the following:
If you think your child may have EoE or an eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorder (EGID), our team, collaborating with your primary care provider, can provide answers and a plan.