Eosinophilic Esophagitis in Indianapolis, IN
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What is eosinophilic esophagitis?
Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is a disorder characterized by inflammation in the esophagus. When a specific kind of white blood cell (called an eosinophil) builds up in the lining of the esophagus, the esophagus will swell, causing esophagitis. The accumulation of these white blood cells is most often a reaction to acid reflux or a reaction to food and allergens. EoE can be a concern for patients of any age. However, it is experienced more often by younger, Caucasian males, who account for nearly 75% of occurrences. At Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology, our doctors provide individualized treatment for EoE. If you or someone you love are diagnosed with EoE in Indianapolis, IN, contact our practice to request a treatment consultation.
What are the causes of eosinophilic esophagitis?
Cases of EoE have increased dramatically in recent years, a trend that has been linked to the rise in people with allergies and asthma. A few of the more common culprits of eosinophilic esophagitis are:
- Damage to the esophagus (inflammation of the esophagus could lead to scarring of the tissue and esophageal narrowing)
- Allergic response (to food, pollen, etc.)
- Chest pain or abdominal pain
- Dysphagia and impaction (difficulty swallowing, or having food become lodged in the esophagus)
The risk factors associated with a diagnosis of eosinophilic esophagitis may include (but are not limited to):
- Time of year (a person is more likely to be diagnosed with EoE in seasons with higher levels of pollen and other allergens)
- Family history of EoE
- Being male
- Asthma and allergies
- Geography (people who live in cold, dry conditions have a greater likelihood of being diagnosed])
What are the symptoms of eosinophilic esophagitis?
Children and adults may experience slightly different symptoms of eosinophilic esophagitis. The usual symptoms in adults could include:
- Persistent or occasional acid reflux
- No response to acid reflux medication
- Pain in the chest
- Upper stomach pain
- Food blocking the esophagus during eating
- Trouble swallowing (dysphagia)
The primary symptoms for children might include:
- Difficulty with feedings (infants)
- Below average growth, unexplained loss of weight, malnutrition
- Impaction (food getting stuck in the esophagus)
- Struggles eating (children)
- Pain in the abdomen or stomach
- Difficulty swallowing
If you or a member of your family are dealing with these symptoms in any combination, or require over-the-counter (OTC) medication for heartburn more often than two times per week, request a consultation with an Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology gastrointestinal provider at your earliest convenience.
What are the treatment options for EoE?
Treatment for eosinophilic esophagitis with our Indianapolis, IN gastrointestinal physicians focuses mainly on alleviating the symptoms of the disorder. If it's determined that your symptoms are caused by food allergies, your specialist will probably direct you to avoid eating whatever food is the trigger. People are regularly recommended to follow the six-food elimination diet (SFED), cutting out wheat, milk, eggs, nuts, soy, fish, and shellfish from their diet for some specific period of time. Symptoms are observed carefully, and certain foods are slowly added back into the diet to determine which foods are triggering the response. Specific medications could be prescribed, such as topical steroids or a proton pump inhibitor. If symptoms fail to resolve, your physician may recommend esophageal dilation, which is a procedure to assist in the stretching of the diameter of your esophagus to create ease when swallowing.
Personalized care for eosinophilic esophagitis
If you or a loved one are struggling with eosinophilic esophagitis, come to Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology for expert help and compassionate care. Our board-certified gastroenterology providers use a patient-centric approach to manage and treat problems such as eosinophilic esophagitis and optimize your health. To consult with a provider who offers EoE treatments in Indianapolis, IN, please connect with our practice as soon as possible.
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