Symptoms & Diagnosis of Eosinophilic Esophagitis

Does My Child Have Eosinophilic Esophagitis?

Eosinophilic Esophagitis has only recently been identified as a disease, and many of its symptoms—particularly in children—mimic the symptoms of GERD.

Eosinophilic Esophagitis symptoms may include:

  • Nausea
  • Problems swallowing (dysphagia)
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Chest pain
  • Heartburn
  • Loss of weight
  • Food impaction

Patients of different ages tend to experience different symptoms:

  • In children, Eosinophilic Esophagitis symptoms are usually similar to those of GERD (abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, poor weight gain)
  • Adolescents and adults frequently experience difficulty swallowing as well as food impaction

Diagnosing Eosinophilic Esophagitis:

If your doctor suspects that your child has Eosinophilic Esophagitis, he or she will conduct a biopsy of the esophagus. The biopsy is usually done with a procedure called endoscopy, in which a small camera is inserted into the esophagus. Sometimes, the doctor will see rings of eosinophils (white blood cells) in the esophagus—but often it will appear normal.

After the biopsy, the tissue will be inspected for evidence of eosinophils, If an EoE diagnosis is confirmed, the doctor will likely conduct allergy testing, looking for food and environmental allergies that contribute to the patient’s EoE.

If your child is experience these symptoms discuss them with your family doctor or find a pediatric gastroenterologist near you.

Support for the NASPGHAN Foundation’s Eosinophilic Esophagitis Education Campaign was provided by AstraZeneca LP, Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc., Cephalon, and Meritage Pharma, Inc.

North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
The Association of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition Nurses
North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition Foundation
The NASPGHAN Council For Pediatric Nutrition Professionals
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