What Is Eosinophilic Esophagitis?
Eosinophilic esophagitis is a disease resulting from an excess of white blood cells. The cells, called eosinophils, build up in the esophagus – the tube that connects the throat and the stomach. Eosinophils are a vital part of the immune system, but an overabundance will lead to negative side effects. Chacko Food Allergy Treatment Center can use food allergy treatments to treat this condition in our Atlanta patients.
The Causes of Eosinophilic Esophagitis
Research into the causes of eosinophilic esophagitis is still ongoing. But it is commonly believed that allergens are the cause of the build-up of white blood cells in the esophagus. A sensitivity to food proteins, along with other allergens like dust, mold, or pollen, causes an allergic reaction. This reaction can result in swallowing issues and damage to the esophagus.
Damage can occur as a result of inflammation. An allergic reaction causes white blood cells to produce a protein. This protein leads to issues like inflammation, a narrowing of the esophagus, or tissue growth. The result is often a problem with swallowing and pains that may feel like acid reflux.
An additional problem may occur when the lining of the esophagus reacts to an allergen. This reaction can again lead to swelling and may cause issues with swallowing. It is also believed that genetics can play a part in eosinophilic esophagitis, though more research is required in this area.
Symptoms of Eosinophilic Esophagitis
Symptoms of eosinophilic esophagitis tend to vary slightly depending on age. Below we break the differences down.
- Swallowing issues
- Food regurgitation
- Eating problems
- Difficulty swallowing food
- Loss of appetite
Many people with eosinophilic esophagitis may have food allergies, asthma, or hay fever. However, the symptoms can resemble other conditions, making it crucial that you get a professional diagnosis.
Treatment For Eosinophilic Esophagitis
The first stage will be to accurately diagnose the condition. Your doctor will discuss your medical history and choose an appropriate method for diagnosing your illness. If it is suspected that an allergy is responsible, you can undergo allergy testing to identify the specific allergen that is causing the reaction.
After determining the allergen responsible for the condition, it will be easier to treat. It may be appropriate to follow a food elimination diet. You can stop consuming the allergic food for a period of time and monitor your symptoms. A more long-term approach is oral immunotherapy, which aims to desensitize the immune system to the allergen. It also may be necessary to take medication such as a topical steroid.
Start Treating Your Eosinophilic Esophagitis
If you are experiencing any symptoms of eosinophilic esophagitis, it is vital to get a professional diagnosis. Make an appointment with Chacko Food Allergy Treatment Center at one of our allergy treatment centers in Alpharetta, Atlanta, Canton, Cumming, Druid Hills, Duluth and Johns Creek. Contact us today at 678-668-4688.
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