Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is an inflammatory condition of the esophagus that occurs in about 1 in 10,000 people. In children, its symptoms can resemble another condition, so it’s important to have a pediatric gastroenterologist evaluate your child. The board-certified experts at Kids and Tummies in Gulfport, Mississippi, understand the seriousness of this and other gut allergies and have the expertise to diagnose and treat your child. Call the practice today to schedule an appointment or book your visit online.
Although different types of gut allergies exist, the doctors at Kids and Tummies often see the inflammatory condition called eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE.) As a result of this condition, your child’s esophagus wall fills with numerous white blood cells called eosinophils, and it becomes inflamed.
It’s important to get an assessment and accurate diagnoses for EoE, because it can cause lifelong issues if it’s left untreated.
In general, if your child has gut allergies that involve an influx of eosinophils, they might have symptoms like:
Babies who have EoE may not want to breastfeed or take a bottle. They may gag or spit up often.
Older children may also gag when they eat, have trouble swallowing, and complain that it feels like something is stuck in their throat. Eventually children may develop an aversion to eating or to specific foods.
Symptoms of EoE can also include weight loss, heartburn, and chest pain. In severe cases, food impaction can occur, when food actually gets stuck in the esophagus.
Kids who have EoE may have other types of allergy-related conditions as well, such as asthma.
Common foods that can cause EoE include:
Although these are the most common culprits, any food can be the problem, so figuring out your child’s triggers is necessary. The team at Kids and Tummies can evaluate your child and use dietary elimination or appropriate testing to pinpoint the specific food(s).
For an accurate diagnosis, your pediatric gastroenterologist at Kids and Tummies performs a biopsy, using an endoscope, which is a flexible tube that has a light on the end of it. They gently insert the device into your child’s mouth, past their throat, and down into the esophagus.
Once the biopsy has been taken, the tissue is examined for a confirmation of your child’s condition.
Treatment of EoE involves diet modifications to avoid your child’s food triggers. Sometimes medications can help. If a child has developed a feeding disorder due to EoE, feeding therapy can help them rediscover the joy of eating.
If your child shows signs of gut allergies or EoE, call the team at Kids and Tummies to schedule an appointment today or use the convenient online booking tool.