While patients may think that a reaction to the food they eat is simply a food allergy, in some instances, this flare-up is a sign of another immune condition. Also known as EoE, keep reading to learn the common symptoms of eosinophilic esophagitis and how our board-certified specialists at Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia can help treat it.
What is EoE?
Your esophagus is the muscular tube that carries foods and liquids from your mouth to your stomach. The food and drinks you consume can then be broken down easily for your body to digest.
However, patients with eosinophilic esophagitis experience a build-up of white blood cells (eosinophils) in their esophagus. This build-up can cause damage to your esophagus and can also lead to problems with swallowing food properly.
Is EoE an Allergic Reaction?
According to the AAAAI, most patients with EoE are atopic — meaning that they have symptoms of one or more allergic disorders. People with seasonal allergies, asthma, eczema, and food allergy are all at greater risk of developing EoE. In some cases, there is a genetic component, so having a family member with EoE can also be a risk factor. You can develop EoE at any age, however it impacts three times as many men as women. If left untreated, symptoms cause further damage to your esophagus and, potentially, your overall health.
Common Symptoms of EoE
Both adults and children can develop this condition, and the most common symptoms include:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Chest pain
- Regurgitation of food
- Food stuck in the esophagus
- Abdominal pain
- Failure to thrive (children)
- No response to GERD medication (children)
If you or your child experiences any of these symptoms, reach out to our board-certified specialists at Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Eosinophilic Esophagitis Diagnosis and Treatment Options
EoE is a complex disorder that often requires a gastroenterologist and an allergist/immunologist working together to confirm the diagnosis and develop the proper treatment and management plan. An upper endoscopy confirms the diagnosis of EoE.
Your allergist will determine what role allergies play. They will utilize allergy testing to determine if you are reacting to environmental allergens and/or foods. They may recommend removing specific foods from your diet to see if symptoms improve.
Medications may be used to reduce eosinophils in the esophagus like proton pump inhibitors (PPI’s) which reduce acid production in the stomach, or swallowed inhaled steroids, which control inflammation.
In May 2022, the FDA approved the use of Dupixent (dupilumab) in adults and children 12 years and older for treating eosinophilic esophagitis. This injectable biologic medication reduces inflammation associated with the disease improving the ability to swallow. This is the first medicine to be approved for EoE treatment.
Immune Disorder and Allergy Treatments
Learning what triggers eosinophilic esophagitis is essential to controlling symptoms and improving your quality of life. To speak to a board-certified allergist at the Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia in one of our convenient Metro Atlanta locations, call (770) 459-0620 or request an appointment via our online patient contact form.
Our offices are located throughout the metro Atlanta area in Alpharetta, Carrollton, Villa Rica, Newnan, Smyrna/Vinings, Hiram, Peachtree City/Fayetteville, Acworth/Kennesaw, and Douglasville and we have a no-wait policy in all of our offices to ensure you receive the information you need to treat your condition.
Most Common Causes of Asthma: