Ayurveda

What is Eosinophilic Esophagitis?

Eosinophilic esophagitis

(

EE

) or

Allergic Esophagitis

, as the name suggests, is an allergic condition that affects the esophagus (the tube connecting the throat and the stomach). People suffering from this condition have an inflamed esophagus. The inflammation of the esophagus is the resultant of an allergic reaction caused by

eosinophils

.

Eosinophilic esophagistis

mostly affects children, although adults are also known to be affected.

Causes of Eosinophilic Esophagitis:

The exact causes of EE are not really well understood. Although, this condition has been attributed to food allergies, asthma, atopic dermatitis (inflammatory skin disorder) or nasal allergies.

  • Acid reflux, fungi and viruses, radiation therapy (when used for treating lung cancer) and a few medications (can get stuck in the esophagus) are also known to cause EE.
  • But, allergies are attributed to be the major cause of this condition. Yet, it is not understood as to what causes the allergic reaction.

Eosinophils:

People suffering from EE are found with several white blood cells in their esophagus. These white blood cells are referred to eosinophils (which provoke inflammation). It is the presence of these eosinophils that inflames the esophagus.

The esoniphils normally take birth in the bone marrow. But allergic reactions, can trigger them to infiltrate the esophagus, thus inflaming them.

Symptoms of Eosinophilic Esophagitis:

The following symptoms are usually observed in children-

  • heartburn
  • vomiting
  • refusal to eat
  • inability to put on weight
  • swallowing problems (dysphagia)
  • food would get stuck in the esophagus

Possible Allergic Reactions:

Although the exact allergic reactions that trigger EE are unknown, doctors have found out that stopping the intake of a few foods has led to the elimination of the symptoms. Non-consumption of the following foods has led to the elimination of symptoms-

milk, chicken, beef, fish, eggs, oats, tomatoes, wheat, rye, potatoes, soy, peas, peanuts and shellfish.

Treatment:

The best and sometimes the only way to prevent

eosinophilic esophagitis

is to stop the intake of food causing the allergies. Especially, eggs, milk, beef, rye and wheat. Swallowing liquid corticosteroids is another option that alleviates the inflammation of the esophagus in EE.

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