Eosinophilic esophagitis also known as EoE, is a relatively newly recognized disease that is characterized by eosinophils (allergy cells) building up in the lining of the esophagus.
The eosinophils cause inflammation in the esophagus, which may cause the following symptoms:
- Difficulty feeding, including feeding refusal and feeding intolerance
- Poor weight gain
- Decreased appetite
- Chest pain
- Abdominal pain
- Reflux-like symptoms
- Trouble swallowing
- Food impaction (when food gets stuck in the throat)
The reasons why some people have EoE are not fully understood. Research has shown a strong connection between food allergies and EoE. Environmental allergens may also play a role in this disease but more research is needed. What we do know is that EoE is a chronic disease that can be managed through diet and/or medical treatment. EoE is not life threatening; however, if left untreated it may cause permanent damage to the esophagus.
Many patients with EoE also experience gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a chronic digestive disorder that is caused by the abnormal flow of gastric acid from the stomach into the esophagus. It is not uncommon for a patient to receive treatment for GERD while also undergoing treatment for EoE. Learn more about GERD.
General Information About Eosinophilic Esophagitis