Eosinophilic Esophagitis and Food Allergy
Eosinophils from human peripheral blood, mouse bone marrow, and mouse bone marrow culture (stained and electron micrograph)
Credit: NIAID Laboratory of Allergic Diseases, Inflammation Immunobiology Section
Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is a newly recognized chronic disease that can be associated with food allergies. It is increasingly being diagnosed in children and adults. EoE is characterized by inflammation and accumulation of a specific type of immune cell, called an eosinophil, in the esophagus.
Symptoms of EoE include nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain after eating. A person may also have symptoms that resemble acid reflux from the stomach. In older children and adults, it can cause more severe symptoms, such as difficulty swallowing solid food or solid food sticking in the esophagus for more than a few minutes. In infants, this disease may be associated with failure to thrive.
If you are diagnosed with EoE, you will probably be tested for allergies. In some situations, avoiding certain food allergens will be an effective treatment for EoE.