EoE DIET CHALLENGES
Managing EoE through diet can be an effective way to relieve symptoms and prevent further damage to the esophagus. In EoE, with nutrition management, you can find out which foods are triggering EoE and remove them. This strategy involves avoiding food allergens, and there are several ways to go about it.
Amino Acid-Based, or Elemental, Diet
All sources of whole proteins are removed from the diet. This involves the use of an amino acid-based formula, such as Neocate, which has neither whole nor fragmented protein chains that can trigger an allergic response.
Simple sugars, salt, and oils may be permitted (100% apple juice, white grape juice, and sugar). Check with your healthcare professional if this is appropriate for you or your child. Formulas such as Neocate may be given either by mouth or tube-feeding, depending on your child’s nutritional needs. Neocate® Nutra is a semi-solid that can also be used to supplement the diet from 6 months of age.
In general, amino acid-based diets are successful in resolving symptoms and lowering eosinophils in the esophagus for about 95% of children.
This approach may remove common food allergens (see the Six Food Elimination Diet) or it might remove foods based on positive allergy tests often seen in children. In general, elimination diets are successful in resolving symptoms and lowering eosinophils in the esophagus for about 75% of children.
If your child’s symptoms and/or biopsy eosinophil count responds to an amino acid-based or elimination diet, the next step would be to reintroduce foods. By adding back one food at a time over a period of weeks, you can find out which foods are causing a reaction. A child who has been on an amino acid-based formula only may take months to return to a typical diet. During this time, the amino acid-based formula will help ensure your child’s nutritional needs (vitamins, minerals, and calories) are being met. Good nutrition is key to support normal growth and development.
Combination of the Two
Amino acid-based products (Neocate Splash, Neocate Junior or Neocate Syneo Infant) can be recommended by your doctor to supplement an elimination diet for EoE. Neocate is nutritionally complete and adding it to the elimination diet can help better meet your or your child's nutritional needs and support growth.