Sharing many symptoms with the more commonly known GERD, Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) has only recently been identified as a disease. Fortunately, many new options are emerging to treat and manage EoE.
Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE disease) in Children
Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is an inflammatory condition in which the wall of the esophagus becomes filled with large numbers of white blood cells called eosinophils.
Because this condition inflames the esophagus, someone with EoE may experience difficulty swallowing, pain, nausea, regurgitation, and vomiting. Over time, the disease can cause the esophagus to narrow, which sometimes results in food becoming stuck, or impacted, within the esophagus, requiring emergency removal.
In young children, many of the symptoms of eosinophilic esophagitis resemble those of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)—including feeding disorders and poor weight gain—so the child may be mistakenly diagnosed with GERD. However, proper diagnosis of esophagitis in children is important because it is a serious disease that can cause lifelong problems if undiagnosed.
Quick Facts about Eosinophilic Esophagitis
- 75% of individuals with EoE are white males
- EoE occurs in approximately 1 in 10,000 people
- The exact cause of EoE is unknown, but it appears to be related to food allergies
- EoE is more common in patients with other allergic diseases, such as asthma
- EoE was discovered relatively recently and much remains unknown about the disease