Eosinophilic Esophagitis

Diagnosis and Management of Eosinophilic Esophagitis in Children

Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is an inflammatory condition in which the wall of the esophagus becomes filled with a large number of white blood cells called eosinophils. Children with EoE may experience difficulty swallowing, pain, nausea, reflux and vomiting. They can often have difficulty gaining weight, may refuse to eat, and food can even get stuck on its way to the stomach. It is more common in children with other allergic conditions, such as asthma, eczema and food allergies.

Expert EoE Diagnosis

If you think your child may have EoE, he or she may benefit from being evaluated and treated by our multidisciplinary team, which includes a pediatric gastroenterologist, pediatric allergist, registered dietitian, and pediatric nurses.

Our pediatric gastroenterologist will review your child’s medical history with you, perform a physical exam, and may recommend that your child have additional tests, such as an endoscopy.

In this procedure, the gastroenterologist places a small tube with a camera through the child’s mouth in order to examine the esophagus, stomach and small intestine. The doctor will also take a biopsy, or small samples of tissue, so that it can be examined and determined whether the patient has EoE.

Treating EoE with Medication and Diet

With proper treatment, most patients with EoE will be able to live a normal life.

At our clinic, most of our patients are treated with either medications or dietary modifications. Our doctors and nutritionist will work closely with you to help you pick the option that is best for your child. Medications may include steroids to decrease inflammation of the esophagus.

Many people are able to control their condition and symptoms by simply eliminating certain foods that trigger their condition. An allergist may do a skin test for food allergies, or may recommend a diet that eliminates some of the most common EoE triggers; these include dairy, soy, wheat, eggs, nuts and fish. Some patients require a more strict diet using only a hypoallergenic formula for their nutritional needs.

None of these diets are easy to adhere to, which is why all of our patients will meet with our nutritionist to learn about the foods that they need to avoid. She will also teach you about the foods that your child can eat, and even provide you with recipes and meal ideas. With all of these diets, foods are slowly reintroduced to help determine which ones are causing the EoE.

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