The Basics of Eosinophilic Esophagitis
- Posted on: Jan 30 2019
It wasn’t until the 1990’s that doctors discovered that they were misdiagnosing a lot of patients with GERD when they actually had a chronic autoimmune system disease called eosinophils. Eosinophils occurs when white blood cells build up in a patient’s esophagus which causes inflammation and swallowing problems. But what else is there to know about eosinophilic esophagitis? Let’s take a closer look and see.
Who Gets Eosinophilic Esophagitis?
Both children and adults can get eosinophilic esophagitis. Typically infants are misdiagnosed with GERD when they actually have this disease because esophageal problems are very common in infant patients
What Are Symptoms?
Symptoms of this condition vary from patient to patients and from patients of different ages. On average, adult patients typically experience:
●Backflow of undigested food
●Upper abdominal pain
●Food getting stuck in the esophagus after swallowing
●Persistent and chronic heartburn
●No response to gastroesophageal reflux disease(GERD) medication
●Centrally located chest pain that doesn’t respond to antacids
What Is Treatment Like?
The last thing that we want our patients to have to deal with is constant pain, discomfort, and outright annoyance from this condition. If you have been diagnosed, we will discuss all of the treatment options that we have. Treatment includes:
●Dietary Therapy-The first form of treatment we typically recommend is dietary therapy that involves avoiding foods such as wheat or dairy which may reduce your inflammation. This can be a trial and error process while we work to determine which foods are causing flare-ups.
●Acid blocker —The first medication usually tried is an acid blocker, such as proton pump inhibitor. This is successful in a limited number of patients.
●Topical steroid —Topical steroids are usually given to patients in a liquid form that is swallowed so that it isn’t absorbed by the bloodstream which helps patients avoid certain side effects.
●Dilation- If patients have severe narrowing of the esophagus, dilation (stretching) could be recommended. Dilation is used when patients aren’t responding to more conservative treatments.
If you suffer from any of the symptoms listed in this article, make sure that you schedule an appointment with our office right away. Remember that the sooner you get to the root of things, the faster it will be for us to treat you. Are you ready to learn a little bit more? If so, schedule an appointment with us at one of our NYC locations today and call us at 212-889-5544.
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