Esophagitis (say "ee-sof-uh-JY-tus") is irritation or inflammation in the esophagus. This is the tube that carries food from your throat to your stomach. In eosinophilic (say "ee-uh-sin-uh-FILL-ick") esophagitis, white blood cells called eosinophils are found where the esophagus is irritated or inflamed.
These white blood cells are part of the immune system. The body sends them out in response to an allergic reaction. This has led experts to think that allergies-especially food allergies-may cause this condition. People who have it will often have other types of allergic reactions too, like hay fever, eczema, or asthma.
The condition can occur in both children and adults. It's more common in males than in females. It may run in families.
Symptoms in adults include trouble swallowing, pain in the chest or upper belly, and heartburn. Children who have the condition may refuse to eat and may not gain weight. They may have nausea, vomiting, or belly pain.
Medicines are also used to reduce acid reflux and inflammation. The most common ones are:
These medicines reduce acid reflux, so they may help relieve irritation.
They can reduce inflammation. Some people need to take them long-term to keep their symptoms under control.
Changing your diet may also help to treat the condition. If you have been tested and know your food allergens, you can just avoid those foods. If not, your doctor may suggest a special diet.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: March 27, 2018
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Peter J. Kahrilas, MD - Gastroenterology
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