Dr. Ertan Beyatlı

What is Eosinophilic Esophagitis?

(Update: ) - Digestive System Diseases

In cases of eosinophilic esophagitis, a type of white blood cell (eosinophil) begins to accumulate in the lining of the esophagus (esophagus).

The reason for this event is reactions in the mucous membrane of the esophagus due to food or acid reflux. As a result of these reactions, the esophagus can become inflamed and damaged.

eosinophilic oophagitis endoscopy view
eosinophilic oophagitis endoscopy view

Eosinophilic esophagitis is a chronic immune system disease.

This disease has been described in the last two decades, but has recently been recognized as the main cause of digestive system (gastrointestinal) diseases.

Mayo Clinic

Research in this area is ongoing and will lead to drastic changes in the diagnosis and treatment of eosinophilic esophagitis.

symptoms

eosinophilic oophagitis
eosinophilic oophagitis

Signs and symptoms include:

Adults:

  • Difficulty swallowing (difficulty swallowing)
  • Feeling stuck in the esophagus (bumps, scratches) after swallowing food
  • chest pain that doesn't respond to antacids
  • ongoing heartburn
  • Tops stomach pain
  • Failure to respond to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GER, GERD) treatment
  • Reflux of undigested food (insufficiency, Les Looseness)

Child:

  • Difficult feeding in babies
  • difficulty eating in children
  • Difficulty swallowing (difficulty swallowing)
  • vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Feeling stuck in the esophagus (bumps, scratches) after swallowing food
  • Failure to respond to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GER, GERD) treatment
  • Failing to thrive (growth problems, malnutrition and weight loss)

When to see a doctor

If you have chest pain, especially shortness of breath, jaw or arm pain, seek immediate medical attention. These could be signs of a heart attack.

Make an appointment with your doctor if you experience severe or frequent symptoms of eosinophilic esophagitis. See your doctor if you are taking over-the-counter medications for heartburn more than twice a week.

Reasons

Eosinophils are normal white blood cells found in your digestive system. However, in eosinophilic esophagitis, you have an allergic reaction to an external substance. The reaction can take place as follows:

  • The reaction of the esophagus. The lining of your esophagus reacts to allergens such as food or pollen.
  • Proliferation of eosinophils. Eosinophils multiply in your esophagus and produce a protein that causes inflammation.
  • The esophagus may be damaged. Inflammation can cause scarring, stricture, and excess fibrous tissue on the lining of your esophagus.
  • Dysphagia and obstruction. There may be difficulty swallowing (dysphagia) or food urgency when swallowing (urgency).
  • Additional symptoms You may have other symptoms such as chest pain or stomach pain.

There has been a significant increase in the number of people diagnosed with eosinophilic esophagitis in the past decade. At first, the researchers thought this was due to increased awareness among doctors and greater availability of tests. However, research now shows that the disease is becoming more and more common in line with the increase in asthma and allergies.

Risk factors

The following risk factors are associated with eosinophilic esophagitis:

  • Climate. People living in a cold or dry climate are more likely to be diagnosed with eosinophilic esophagitis than those found in other climates.
  • Season. You are more likely to be diagnosed between spring and autumn, possibly because levels of pollen and other allergens are higher and people are more likely to be out.
  • Sex. Eosinophilic esophagitis is more common in men than women.
  • Family history. Your chances of being diagnosed increase if you have eosinophilic esophagitis in your family.
  • Allergies and asthma. You are more likely to be diagnosed with eosinophilic esophagitis if you have a food or environmental allergy, asthma, atopic dermatitis, or chronic respiratory disease (asthma, rhinitis, etc.).
  • Age. Initially, eosinophilic esophagitis was thought to be a childhood disease, but is now known to be common in adults as well. Symptoms differ between children and adults.

complications

In some people, eosinophilic esophagitis can cause the following problems:

  • Scarring and narrowing of the esophagus. This makes it difficult to swallow and increases the likelihood of food becoming stuck.
  • Damage to the esophagus. Due to inflammation of the esophagus, endoscopy It may cause punctures or tears in the tissue covering the esophagus during the course of time. Tearing can also occur due to reflux and severe vomiting that some people experience when they get stuck in the esophagus.

Kayank: Mayo Clinic

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