People with eosinophilic esophagitis have an increase in a type of white blood cells called "eosinophils," which cause inflammation in the esophagus (esophagitis), that may be due to an allergic reaction. Eosinophilic esophagitis may result in narrowing of your esophagus, difficulty swallowing and even food getting stuck (food impaction). In young children, this can also present as poor feeding, failure to thrive, vomiting, or abdominal pain. If you have asthma or allergies to food or environmental factors (such as seasonal allergies), you have a greater chance of having eosinophilic esophagitis. Eosinophilic esophagitis is more common in males.
Since it’s not a common disorder, it's very important to seek care at a medical center like NewYork-Presbyterian, which has a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals experienced in the care of people with eosinophilic esophagitis. We work with you to identify what triggers your symptoms and to find a treatment that relieves them so that you can enjoy a better quality of life.
A Team of Esophageal Specialists
Your healthcare team includes gastroenterologists, allergists, and nutritionists who evaluate your symptoms. We use endoscopy (examination of the inside of your esophagus using a flexible scope with a camera at its tip) and biopsy (analysis of a sample of your esophageal tissue) to confirm the diagnosis. We then design a customized plan of treatment and recommend dietary changes to reduce or prevent your symptoms.
Personalized Treatment for Eosinophilic Esophagitis
NewYork-Presbyterian’s gastroenterologists, allergists, and nutritionists collaborate to devise a treatment plan that works for you.
- Medical therapies. While there are no medications specifically FDA approved for eosinophilic esophagitis; some people benefit from proton pump inhibitors or topical steroids to help reduce inflammation in the esophagus. Some people may need to have your esophagus dilated (stretched) to open any narrowing and prevent difficulty swallowing food. Your doctor will let you know if this treatment is appropriate for you, and if so, will guide you about its use.
- Choosing the right foods. Your team will work with you to identify which foods may be triggering your symptoms so that you can eliminate them from your diet. Eosinophilic esophagitis reactions can take days or weeks to develop, which is important to remember when beginning a food elimination plan. It might take some time after avoiding a particular food to determine whether that strategy worked for you. Once testing and food elimination clarify which foods or substances you should avoid, your nutritionist can help design a personalized diet that eliminates these foods and still makes eating enjoyable and well balanced to meet your individual needs.