Eosinophilic Esophagitis in Washington

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Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is a condition of the esophagus characterized by inflammation. When a specific kind of white blood cells, known as eosinophil cells, build up in the lining of the esophagus, the esophagus can swell (causing esophagitis). The buildup of white blood cells is typically a side effect of acid regurgitation or a reaction to food and allergens. EoE has been known to affect people of every age. However, it is seen more often by younger male Caucasians, who make up close to 75% of occurrences. At Washington Gastroenterology, our gastroenterologists provide personalized treatment for this condition. If you need help managing eosinophilic esophagitis in Washington, call a nearby location to request an appointment.

The number of people being diagnosed with EoE has been increasing rapidly, linked to the rise in asthma and allergies. Some of the more common causes of eosinophilic esophagitis are:

  • Impaction and dysphagia (problems swallowing or having food become lodged in the esophagus)
  • Esophageal damage (inflammation of the esophagus might lead to scarring of the tissue and narrowing of the esophagus)
  • Allergic response (to food, pollen, etc.)
  • Chest pain or abdominal pain

Some risk factors associated with being diagnosed with eosinophilic esophagitis include:

  • Geographic location (people who live in dry, cold conditions are more likely to be diagnosed)
  • Asthma and allergies
  • Time of year (a person is more likely to be diagnosed with EoE in seasons with higher levels of pollen and other allergens)
  • Family history of EoE
  • Males are more likely to suffer from EoE

The symptoms of eosinophilic esophagitis for adults and children can differ slightly. The typical symptoms in adults can include:

  • Pain in the chest
  • A lack of efficacy from acid reflux medication
  • Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
  • Acid reflux
  • Cough
  • Food getting caught in your esophagus when eating
  • Upper stomach pain

The typical symptoms for children can include:

  • Pain in the stomach or abdomen
  • Dysphagia
  • Difficulty feeding (infants)
  • Impaction (food stuck in the esophagus)
  • Below average growth, unexplained weight loss, malnutrition
  • Difficulty with eating (children)
  • Vomiting

If you or a loved one are experiencing any combination of these symptoms or take over-the-counter (OTC) heartburn medication more than two times per week, contact us to request a consultation with a Washington Gastroenterology gastroenterologist in your community as soon as you can.

Treatment for EoE through our Washington practice mainly focuses on relieving the condition's symptoms. If you are experiencing symptoms caused by food allergies, your provider will most commonly suggest that you refrain from consuming triggering foods. Patients are often directed to adhere to the six-food elimination diet (SFED), removing wheat, milk, eggs, nuts, soy, fish, and shellfish from their diet for an indicated period. Symptoms are recorded carefully, and specific foods are slowly added back into the diet to identify which foods are responsible for the response. Specific medications, like topical steroids or a proton pump inhibitor, might be prescribed. If symptoms remain, your provider could wish to try esophageal dilation. This is a procedure to assist in the stretching of the diameter of your esophagus to make swallowing easier.

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If you are managing eosinophilic esophagitis, expert help and compassionate care are available through the skilled specialists at Washington Gastroenterology. Our experienced gastroenterology providers take a patient-centered approach to manage and treat conditions like eosinophilic esophagitis and improve your health. To connect with a local provider who offers treatment for EoE in Washington, please reach out to our team at your earliest convenience.

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