Question: I’ve been hearing a lot lately about eosinophilic esophagitis. Can you explain what it is and how it is treated?
Eosinophilic esophagitis, often referred to as EoE, is an inflammatory, gastrointestinal condition typically caused by food allergies. The disease causes swelling of the esophagus due to a build-up of white blood cells known as eosinophils. This inflammation causes painful and severe symptoms including difficulty swallowing, nausea, vomiting, regurgitation, severe heartburn, abdominal or chest pain and weight loss.
Doctors aren’t sure of the exact cause of EoE, but recent research has shown that it may be related to other allergic diseases such as hay fever, asthma and food allergies.
There is currently no cure for EoE, but medical and nutrition therapy can alleviate symptoms and prevent further damage to the esophagus. For the short term, standard medications such as steroids are successful in resolving symptoms and reducing the number of eosinophils. Because of concern with side effects associated with long term steroid use, long term treatment requires nutrition therapy.
Research has shown that an elemental diet with formulas like Neocate and E028 Splash are successful in reducing symptoms and eosinophils in children with EoE. If a total elemental diet cannot be used, then primary nutrition therapy is a food elimination diet where children avoid all confirmed allergic foods, which could include dairy, egg, wheat and tree nuts. Elimination diets are often so restrictive that they may result in poor intake of essential nutrients, like protein, calories, calcium and vitamin D. For this reason, children on elimination diets also benefit from adding an elemental formula, which provides a valuable source of essential nutrients missing in most elimination diets.
Read Comments (4)
Previous post: Neocate Faces – Parker