Eosinophilic Esophagitis in Utah
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What is eosinophilic esophagitis?
Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) occurs when the esophagus becomes inflamed due to a buildup of particular white blood cells called eosinophils. When eosinophils accumulate in the lining of the esophagus, the esophagus can swell (leading to esophagitis). The buildup of these eosinophils is most commonly a side effect of acid regurgitation or a reaction to allergens or food. EoE may affect patients of all ages. However, it is most common in younger, male Caucasians, who make up approximately 75% of occurrences. At Utah Gastroenterology, our doctors provide individualized treatment for EoE. If you need help managing EoE in Utah, reach out to our team to request a consultation.
What are some of the causes of eosinophilic esophagitis?
There has been a dramatic rise in new cases of EoE in recent years, which research suggests may be connected with increases in people suffering from allergies and asthma. A few of the most common culprits of EoE include:
- Damage to the esophagus (esophageal inflammation might lead to tissue scarring and narrowing of the esophagus)
- Dysphagia and impaction (problems swallowing, or having food become stuck in the esophagus)
- Allergic response (to food, pollen, etc.)
- Abdominal or chest pain
Some of the risk factors related to being diagnosed for eosinophilic esophagitis involve:
- Males are more likely to suffer from EoE
- Time of year (you are more likely to be diagnosed with EoE during times of higher levels of pollen and other allergens)
- Location where you live (individuals who live in dry, cold conditions are more likely to be diagnosed)
- Genetics (if someone in your family has EoE, you are more likely to be diagnosed)
- Allergies and asthma
What are the symptoms of eosinophilic esophagitis?
Adults with eosinophilic esophagitis may experience different symptoms than children who have the condition. The typical symptoms for adults may include:
- Acid reflux
- Upper stomach pain
- A lack of efficacy from acid reflux medication
- Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
- Food becoming impacted in the esophagus while eating
- Chest pain
Usual symptoms for children may include:
- Struggles eating
- Pain in the stomach or abdomen
- Difficulty swallowing
- Failure to thrive, weight loss, malnutrition
- Impaction (food stuck in the esophagus)
- Difficulty with feedings (infants)
If you or a family member are experiencing these symptoms in any combination, or if you take over-the-counter (OTC) heartburn medication more frequently than twice a week, reach out and request an appointment with a Utah Gastroenterology gastroenterologist as soon as you can.
What are the treatments for eosinophilic esophagitis?
Eosinophilic esophagitis is generally treated according to its symptoms. Should it be determined that you are suffering symptoms related to particular food issues, your provider will likely recommend that you refrain from consuming triggering foods. Individuals are commonly asked to adhere to the six-food elimination diet (SFED), holding out shellfish, fish, soy, nuts, eggs, milk and wheat from their diet for a certain duration of time. Symptoms are examined carefully, and certain foods are carefully added back into the diet to conclude which foods are causing the response. Certain medications could be prescribed, such as topical steroids or a proton pump inhibitor. If symptoms continue to persist, your gastroenterologist may wish to try esophageal dilation, a treatment to help stretch the diameter of your esophagus to make swallowing easier. To discuss options for treating EoE in Utah, call our providers at your earliest convenience.
We provide personalized care for eosinophilic esophagitis
If eosinophilic esophagitis is making your life less comfortable, the skilled GI physicians at Utah Gastroenterology are ready to provide expert help and compassionate care. Our experienced gastrointestinal providers use a patient-centered approach to manage and treat conditions like eosinophilic esophagitis and improve your health and well-being. To consult with a provider who offers EoE treatments in Utah, please reach out to our practice.
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