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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Something Else to Worry About: Eosinophilic Esophagitis

Sylvia Perez of ABC7 Chicago wrote a story that alerted me to a condition I wasn't familiar with: eosinophilic esophagitis (EE).

EE almost always involves intense inflammation of the esophagus. That's the part of the body connecting the throat and stomach. What appears to happen is a large number of white blood cells accumulate in the esophagus causing scarring and thickening. [The name comes from eosin, a dye used to stain white cells so they can be viewed under a microscope.] Researchers believe this is an allergic reaction to either something in the air or connected to food. What's most shocking is that most of these patients turn out to be allergic to so many foods.

It's rare but becoming more common.
The signs of EE can be hard to pick up on. Along with difficulty swallowing or food getting stuck, symptoms include stomach pain, severe heartburn, nausea, vomiting and weight loss. In many cases, this disorder is also misdiagnosed as reflux....

"We believe something has changed in the environment, whether it is additives in food or pesticides or antibiotics, but something has definitely changed," said Dr. Amir Kagalwalla , pediatric gastroenterologist, UIC.

Other than a few soft foods and lots of liquid, patients get a special liquid nutritional formula.

Here are a few sites that are involved with EE.

Campaign Urging Research for Eosinophilic Disease

Cincinnati Center for Eosinophilic Disorders

The International Gastrointestinal Eosinophil Researchers

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1 comment:

Unknown said...

It might be easy to assume that you have chronic GERD or acid reflux, but it might also be just a symptom of something else. That “something else” could be EoE – or eosinophilic esophagitis. Some of the symptoms (apart from GERD and acid reflux) include difficulty swallowing, chest pains, persistent heartburns, backflow of food that you weren’t able to digest. If these are all too familiar, check with your physician to see of you indeed have EoE! click here for more details