Eosinophilic esophagitis is a common chronic immune or allergic condition of the esophagus, which is the tube that helps in the transportation of food from your mouth to your stomach. When you are suffering from eosinophilic esophagitis, a lot of white blood cells get accumulated in the esophagus’ inner lining. These white blood cells are known as eosinophils.
Importantly, after getting accumulated in the esophagus, the eosinophils can also release toxic substances into the tissues that surround the esophagus, which leads to inflammation. When the esophagus is in its normal condition, it does not have any eosinophils. Given that, one major eosinophilic esophagitis symptom is inflammation in the esophagus along with an increased number of eosinophils.
As far as the diagnosis of eosinophilic esophagitis is concerned, there are certain criteria followed by pathologists, gastroenterologists, and allergists. The diagnosis includes looking for symptoms and combining them with the things that were found during the procedure of upper endoscopy.
Allergies and Eosinophilic Esophagitis
Most patients with eosinophilic esophagitis tend to be atopic. A person who is atopic experiences symptoms of one or multiple allergic disorders. This can include food allergy, atopic dermatitis or eczema, allergic rhinitis, and asthma. Importantly, eosinophilic esophagitis is also known to be genetic; hence, it can occur in different family members at the same time.
Since the majority of the individuals dealing with eosinophilic esophagitis are atopic, they often have to consult an allergist before they can start off with their eosinophilic esophagitis treatment. After being examined, the allergist often refers the patient to a gastroenterologist for further confirmation of having eosinophilic esophagitis.
Alternatively, if the eosinophilic esophagitis diagnosis is being made by a gastroenterologist, they will refer the patient to an allergist for getting all of the required allergy testing done. The doctors also help in planning diet therapy and reintroducing different foods to the diet.
Environmental Allergies and Eosinophilic Esophagitis
Experiencing environmental allergies is a very common thing if you have eosinophilic esophagitis. These allergies can get triggered by things like molds, motes, dust, animals, and pollens. For some patients, their eosinophilic esophagitis gets even worse when it is the pollen season. Allergy testing for these environmental allergies is mostly a part of eosinophilic esophagitis evaluation.
Food Allergies and Eosinophilic Esophagitis
One major cause of eosinophilic esophagitis is immune responses to different food items. Patients who experience food allergies have to consult an allergist, who will help in evaluating and treating eosinophilic esophagitis related to food allergies.
Since the relationship between eosinophilic esophagitis and food allergy is quite complex, the patient has to follow a specialized eosinophilic esophagitis diet so that their allergy won’t get triggered. Notably, foods like wheat, soy, egg, and dairy products are known to be the biggest triggers for eosinophilic esophagitis.
Furthermore, an individual with eosinophilic esophagitis can have more than one foods that will trigger their eosinophilic esophagitis. Given that, once the causative foods are identified, the doctors remove them from the individual’s diet and provide them with food that would be a good substitute for the food removed from the diet.