Eosinophilic Esophagitis in Florida
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What is eosinophilic esophagitis?
Eosinophilic espohagitis (EoE) is a disorder characterized by inflammation of the esophagus. If a specific type of white blood cell — referred to as an eosinophil — accumulates in the lining of the esophagus, the esophagus can become swollen, causing esophagitis. The accumulation of the eosinophils is typically a side effect of acid reflux or a reaction to allergens or food. EoE may be suffered by people of all ages. However, it is seen more often in younger Caucasian males, who make up nearly 75% of cases. At Gastroenterology Associates of Florida, our gastroenterologists provide individualized care for this condition. If you are seeking treatment for eosinophilic esophagitis in Florida, call our office to request a consultation.
What are some of the causes of eosinophilic esophagitis?
The number of individuals developing eosinophilic esophagitis has been on the rise as cases of asthma and/or allergies have increased. Some of the common causes of EoE are:
- Allergic response (to food, pollen, etc.)
- Damage to the esophagus (esophageal inflammation may result in tissue scarring and narrowing of the esophagus)
- Chest pain or abdominal pain
- Dysphagia and impaction (difficulty swallowing, or having food become lodged in the esophagus)
The risk factors related to being diagnosed with EoE include:
- Time of year (a person is more likely to be diagnosed with EoE in seasons with higher levels of pollen and other allergens)
- Geography (people who live in dry, cold climates are more likely to be diagnosed)
- Sex (males are more likely to suffer from EoE)
- Genetics (if someone in your family has EoE, you are more likely to be diagnosed)
- Asthma and allergies
What are some of the symptoms of eosinophilic esophagitis?
The signs of eosinophilic esophagitis can vary slightly based on age. For adults with EoE, the usual symptoms might include:
- Problems with swallowing (dysphagia)
- Upper stomach pain
- Chest pain
- A cough
- Food blocking the esophagus when eating
- No response to acid reflux medication
- Persistent or occasional acid reflux
For children, the primary indicators of EoE can include:
- Difficulty with feedings (infants)
- Impaction (food getting stuck in the esophagus)
- Struggles with eating (in older children)
- Poor growth, unexplained weight loss, malnutrition
- Abdominal or stomach pain
If you or your child are experiencing these symptoms in any combination or need over-the-counter (OTC) medication for heartburn more often than two times per week, call to request a consultation with a Gastroenterology Associates of Florida gastroenterologist at your earliest convenience.
What are the treatment options for EoE?
When providing eosinophilic esophagitis treatment, our Florida GI doctors mainly focus on addressing the symptoms of the condition. If you are enduring symptoms related to food allergies, your physician will likely request that you abstain from eating foods that trigger your symptoms. Patients are regularly asked to adhere to the six-food elimination diet (SFED), removing wheat, milk, eggs, nuts, soy, fish, and shellfish from their diet for a specific period of time. Symptoms during this time are recorded carefully, and individual foods are carefully reintroduced to the diet to determine which foods are triggering the response. Some medications might be prescribed, like topical steroids or a proton pump inhibitor. If symptoms persist, your doctor could wish to try esophageal dilation. This is a treatment to help stretch your esophagus to make swallowing easier.
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We provide personalized care for eosinophilic esophagitis
If you or a loved one are dealing with eosinophilic esophagitis, you can trust the specialists at Gastroenterology Associates of Florida to provide expert help and compassionate care. Our experienced GI providers use a patient-centered approach to manage and treat conditions (such as eosinophilic esophagitis) and optimize your overall health. To connect with a provider who offers treatment for EoE in Florida, please contact our office today.
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