Eosinophilic esophagitis is also referred to as EE or EoE. This is an allergic inflammatory condition and chronic disorder that affects a considerable number of people in the United States. Statistically, the condition affects between one and four people in 10,000 countrywide. The disease has been recognized only recently and has been experiencing increased diagnoses that are partly associated with growing awareness of the disease.
There are many facilities in the country that offer Eosinophilic Esophagitis treatments in the best manner. However, you will need to travel to these facilities from your home. Although insurance providers over cover for medical expenses, travel costs are not included. You therefore need to plan well to put travel expenses at the minimum. If you have already decided where to go for Eosinophilic Esophagitis treatment, consultation or second opinion, you can go ahead and plan for your travel. You can also consult our list of facilities that specialize in Eosinophilic Esophagitis.
If in case you are unable to meet your travel expenses on your own, you can check our list of charitable organizations that help in arranging free travel for medical reasons.
About Eosinophilic Esophagitis
Eosinophilic Esophagitis can affect persons of all ages. The symptoms of this disease may present themselves differently depending on the range of age of individuals. Those people suffering from EE have a greater number of eosinophils (this is a white blood cell type found in small quantities in the blood) as well as esophagus inflammation. Large quantities of eosinophils on the esophagus may be as a result of reaction of food allergy, airborne allergens or acid reflux. This can lead to esophageal tissue injury or inflammation.
Approximately, half of the patients suffering from EE alo suffer from asthma or occasional allergies. Quite a number of others suffer from eczema or food allergies. Some people experience occasional eruption of the disease during summer and spring. Researchers have pointed out both environmental and genetic factors contribute in the development of EE. True pollen-stimulated EE is extremely rare, less than one percent in pediatrics and slightly more in adults. Seasonal differences in patients with food-stimulated EE are visible in as high as 25% of patients.
Where to Go for Eosinophilic Esophagitis
There are many facilities where you can go for Eosinophilic Esophagitis in the United States for the best treatments. In these facilities, patients and their loved ones work closely with doctors and other healthcare providers for the best outcomes. One of the best facilities where you can go for EE treatments include;
- Mayo Clinic Rochester
Expert in gastroenterology (digestive conditions), allergic diseases, immunology and other professionals work jointly to diagnose Eosinophilic Esophagitis and to develop a treatment program for your health requirements.
Eosinophilic Esophagitis Diagnosis
Diagnosis of EE should be done properly and confirmed by a gastroenterologist and allergist. Clinical history should be taken and food allergy testing performed. Upper endoscopy may also be performed in order to have a closer look at the esophageal region to ascertain inflammation. Here, it is wise to rule out other causes of EE like acid reflux. In some cases, eosinophils may be seen in an esophagus that looks fine. In this case, esophagus biopsy must be done in order to ascertain diagnosis.
Treatment of Eosinophilic Esophagitis
After diagnosis of EE, food allergy testing is done in most cases and counseling given of what foods to avoid taking in case food allergy is noted. It is good to understand that food allergies may not occur immediately after taking the offending food. Some patients note that inflammation of the esophagus occurs days or weeks after taking the offending food. Changes in diet may considerably and instantly improve EE symptoms.
Pollen-perpetuated EE or seasonal variation of EE can be treated through addition of swallowed steroids to a diet plan or through immunotherapy. There is also a report of benefits accrued through subcutaneous immunotherapy in EE. However, there have been reports of occurrence of EE as a result of beginning sublingual immunotherapy when it comes to oral or pollen immunotherapy for foods.
There are currently no known medications to cure EE. However, some medications may repress accumulation of Eosinophil, reduce esophagus tissue damage and improve symptoms. The doctor may prescribe topical or oral steroids. Out of the fact that treatment programs for EE are tailored on individual cases, patients suffering from EE should work with allergists and gastroenterologists closely in order to employ a particular treatment program that suits best for them.
The medications used primarily in treatment of EE include the following;
- Fluticasone propionate (Flovent)
- Proton pump inhibitors (Nexium, Protonix, Aciphex, Prilosec, Prevacid, Zegarid, and Dexilant)
There are also several ways through which diets elimination can be done;
- Perform blood and skin tests to get the particular allergy-inducing foods and do away with them in the treatment diet plan.
- Do away with main groups of food that are commonly known to induce allergy such as soy, milk proteins, eggs, seafood, wheat and tree/peanuts.
- Place the patient on basic liquid diet. This is a diet that contains food that has been digested and not containing proteins that can cause allergy. Different foods can then be added to the diet until the allergy-causing food is identified.
These elimination diets are not simple to follow for both doctors and patients especially children. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. However, if these elimination diets can be used to identify one or two offending foods, a diet that is near normal can be taken doing away with the need for medications.
Risks Associated with Eosinophilic Esophagitis
Eosinophilic Esophagitis is a chronic disease that is driven by antigen in which aeroallergens and food cause luminal narrowing and inflammation, and symptoms of food bolus obstruction events (FBOE) and dysphagia. Among the risks associated with this condition include the following;
- Gender: Males are more likely to get EE than females.
- Race: Caucasians are more likely to contract the condition
- Atopy: associated with sensitive immune responses to common allergens, such as breathed-in and food allergens.
- Family history: The condition has a genetic predisposition where family history plays a role. If you have a close relative with the condition, your chance of getting EE increases.
- Environmental factors: The nature and timing of food, exposure to aeroallergens and other allergy-inducing substances increase the chances of developing EE.
Who Can Go for Eosinophilic Esophagitis
It is always advisable to have regular medical check-ups in order to notice any medical condition as early as possible. Most medical cases can be treated best in the early stages of development. In this way, those suffering from clinical conditions associated with Eosinophilic Esophagitis should go for treatments in one of the facilities that offer these therapies in the country.
In addition to those experiencing clinical conditions associated with the disease, other high-risk individuals should go for treatments and check-ups. These people include those that have a family history of the disease, those individuals exposed to environmental factors associated with the disease as well as those that have sensitive immune systems characteristic of the condition.