WHAT IS EOSINOPHILIC ESOPHAGITIS?
It’s associated with white blood cell buildup in the esophagus that can lead to tissue damage and swallowing problems. Treatment can relieve your symptoms and prevent complications.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF EOSINOPHILIC ESOPHAGITIS?
The following signs and symptoms are often associated with eosinophilic esophagitis:
- Abdominal pain
- Difficulty eating or swallowing
- Food getting stuck in your esophagus
- Persistent chest pain
- Acid reflux
- Failure to thrive in children
Symptoms of eosinophilic esophagitis can range from mild to severe. Possible complications associated with untreated eosinophilic esophagitis include the narrowing of the esophagus, scarring and other forms of esophagus damage.
WHAT ARE THE RISK FACTORS FOR EOSINOPHILIC ESOPHAGITIS?
Anybody can develop eosinophilic esophagitis, but the following factors increase your risk of experiencing it:
- Having allergies or asthma
- Being male
- Living in a cold or dry climate
- Family history of eosinophilic esophagitis
Eosinophilic esophagitis symptoms are more common in the spring and fall, which might be due to higher levels of allergens during these seasons.
HOW IS EOSINOPHILIC ESOPHAGITIS DIAGNOSED?
To determine if you have eosinophilic esophagitis, your gastroenterologist reviews your symptoms and medical history.
They will complete a physical exam and may use endoscopy, biopsy or blood tests to diagnose eosinophilic esophagitis. Endoscopy utilizes a thin, lighted tube with a camera attached to it to view the inside of your esophagus.
WHAT IS THE TREATMENT FOR EOSINOPHILIC ESOPHAGITIS?
Your personalized eosinophilic esophagitis treatment plan depends on the severity of your condition. Dr. Ashwath may recommend:
Making changes to your diet may alleviate symptoms associated with eosinophilic esophagitis. Your doctor might recommend avoiding certain foods, such as wheat products or dairy foods, to reduce inflammation.
In addition to altering your diet, your gastroenterologist may suggest losing weight, avoiding foods associated with heartburn, practicing relaxation techniques and elevating the head of your bed.
Taking certain medicines, such as proton-pump inhibitors or topical steroids, may also alleviate eosinophilic esophagitis symptoms.
If your esophagus is too narrow, your doctor might suggest a procedure called dilation to widen it and make swallowing easier.