Eosinophilic Esophagitis in Connecticut
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What is eosinophilic esophagitis?
Eosinophilic esophagitis or (EoE) is a disease of the esophagus characterized by inflammation. When a specific type of white blood cell called an eosinophil accumulates in the lining of the esophagus, the esophagus can become inflamed (resulting in esophagitis). The accumulation of the eosinophils is most often a response to acid reflux or an allergic reaction to allergens or food. EoE has been known to affect patients of all ages. However, it is suffered more often by younger Caucasian males, who make up close to 75% of cases. At Connecticut GI, our gastroenterologists provide personalized care for EoE. If you are seeking treatment for EoE in Connecticut, call our practice to request a treatment consultation.
What are some of the causes of eosinophilic esophagitis?
The number of people receiving a diagnosis of EoE has been increasing in relation to the rise in allergies and asthma. Some of the common culprits of eosinophilic esophagitis include:
- Dysphagia and impaction (problems swallowing or having food become stuck in the esophagus)
- Damage to the esophagus (esophageal inflammation could lead to scarring of the tissue and narrowing of the esophagus)
- Abdominal or chest pain
- Allergic reaction (to food, pollen, etc.)
A portion of the risk factors related to being diagnosed with eosinophilic esophagitis involve:
- The location where you live (individuals living in dry, cold climates are more likely to be diagnosed)
- Genetics (if someone in your family has EoE, you are more likely to be diagnosed)
- Asthma and allergies
- Being male
- Time of year (a person is more likely to receive a diagnosis of EoE during times of higher levels of pollen and other allergens)
What are some of the symptoms of eosinophilic esophagitis?
The symptoms of EoE for adults and children can differ slightly. The most common symptoms in adults might include:
- A cough
- A lack of efficacy from acid reflux medication
- Pain in the upper stomach
- Chest pain
- Struggle with swallowing (dysphagia)
- Food blocking in your esophagus while eating
- Acid reflux
The usual symptoms in children can include:
- Impaction (food blockage in the esophagus)
- Difficulty with feedings (infants)
- Difficulty eating (children)
- Pain in the abdomen or stomach
- Below average growth, unexplained weight loss, malnutrition
If you or a family member are experiencing any combination of these symptoms, or if you require over-the-counter (OTC) medication for heartburn more often than twice a week, request a consultation with a Connecticut GI gastroenterologist today.
What are the treatments for eosinophilic esophagitis?
The treatment for EoE that may be recommended by our Connecticut providers primarily focuses on treating the condition's symptoms. Should it be determined that you are suffering symptoms related to food allergies, your gastroenterologist will likely suggest that you refrain from eating triggering foods. Patients are regularly asked to adhere to the six-food elimination diet (SFED), holding out shellfish, fish, soy, nuts, eggs, milk, and wheat from their diet for some time. Symptoms during this time are examined carefully, and individual foods are carefully reintroduced to the diet to identify which foods are causing the reaction. Certain medications, such as a proton pump inhibitor or topical steroids, could be prescribed. If symptoms fail to improve, your provider might recommend esophageal dilation. Esophageal dilation is a procedure to help stretch the diameter of your esophagus to make swallowing easier.
Personalized care for eosinophilic esophagitis
If you or someone you love are managing eosinophilic esophagitis, expert help and compassionate care are available from the skilled specialists at a Connecticut GI location nearest you. Our board-certified gastrointestinal providers use a patient-focused approach to treat and help manage conditions like eosinophilic esophagitis and optimize your health and well-being. To consult with a provider who specializes in EoE treatments in Connecticut, please reach out to one of our locations today.
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