Eosinophilic Esophagitis

What Is Eosinophilic Esophagitis?

As the Mayo Clinic explains, eosinophilic esophagitis is a condition that develops when eosinophils, a type of white blood cell, accumulate in the lining of esophagus, which is the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach. Eosinophilic esophagitis is considered a chronic immune condition, and it is a major contributor to digestive system illnesses.

Eosinophilic esophagitis tends to have symptoms that are similar to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), but it is a different condition.

What Causes Eosinophilic Esophagitis?

Eosinophils are naturally present in the digestive system, but eosinophilic esophagitis occurs when the body shows an allergic reaction to something. Eosinophilic esophagitis can cause the following reactions in the body:

  • The lining of the esophagus has an allergic reaction to food.
  • White blood cells in the esophagus grow in number, causing inflammation.
  • Esophageal damage, leading to inflammation, scarring, and the development of extra tissue in the lining of the esophagus.
  • Difficulty swallowing food.

Symptoms of Eosinophilic Esophagitis

Given the reactions that eosinophilic esophagitis creates in the body, there are some typical symptoms associated with this medical condition. Common eosinophilic esophagitis symptoms are as follows:

  • Trouble swallowing food
  • Having food stuck in the esophagus after attempting to swallow
  • Chest pain the doesn’t improve with antacid medications
  • Regurgitating undigested food

The above eosinophilic esophagitis symptoms are typically seen with adults. Children with eosinophilic esophagitis may also experience difficulty swallowing, but there are some additional symptoms of eosinophilic esophagitis in children. These include:

  • Eating and feeding difficulties
  • Failure to thrive, indicated by poor growth or weight loss
  • Stomach pain
  • Vomiting
  • No improvement with GERD medications

Eosinophilic Esophagitis Treatment

Over time, eosinophilic esophagitis can cause complications, such as damage and scarring in the esophagus, as well as narrowing of the esophagus, so treatment may be necessary.

Eosinophilic esophagitis treatment begins with diagnosis, which may involve a doctor ordering blood work or conducting diagnostic tests, such as a biopsy or endoscopy.

Once eosinophilic esophagitis is diagnosed, treatment may include making dietary changes, such as cutting out foods that may cause an allergic reaction. A doctor may also prescribe steroid medications or a type of medication called a proton pump inhibitor.

If eosinophilic esophagitis causes extreme narrowing in the esophagus, a doctor may perform a dilation in order to stretch it and make swallowing less difficult.

If you have ongoing symptoms of eosinophilic esophagitis, it is important to seek treatment. This is especially important if you have chest pain, which could also be a sign of a heart attack.

Applicable Procedures

EGD

What causes eosinophilic esophagitis?

Eosinophils are naturally present in the digestive system, but eosinophilic esophagitis occurs when the body shows an allergic reaction to something. Eosinophilic esophagitis can develop when the lining of the esophagus has an allergic reaction to food, for example.

How is eosinophilic esophagitis treated?

Eosinophilic esophagitis treatment begins with diagnosis, which may involve a doctor ordering blood work or conducting diagnostic tests, such as a biopsy or endoscopy.

Once eosinophilic esophagitis is diagnosed, treatment may include making dietary changes, such as cutting out foods that may cause an allergic reaction. A doctor may also prescribe steroid medications or a type of medication called a proton pump inhibitor. If eosinophilic esophagitis causes extreme narrowing in the esophagus, a doctor may perform a dilation in order to stretch it and make swallowing less difficult.

What are the complications of eosinophilic esophagitis?

Over time, eosinophilic esophagitis can cause damage and scarring in the esophagus. It can also cause the esophagus to narrow. In this case, it is important to seek treatment. If you have chest pain with this condition, it is critical that you seek emergency medical care, as chest pain can indicate a heart attack.

Common Symptoms

  • “I was having difficulty swallowing food, and it felt like food was getting stuck in my throat after eating.”
  • “I was frequently regurgitating food after a meal, and I had chest pain that just didn’t get better with antacids.”
  • “My daughter was not following her growth curve as expected, and she suffered from stomach pain and vomiting that did not improve with the GERD medications her pediatrician prescribed.”

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What Our Patients Are Saying

I’ve been a patient of Dr. Weber for almost a decade. My husband for more than & it was he who recommended Dr. Weber. He’s knowledgeable & well experienced in his field. Plus he’s an all around kind & nice guy. And you’d like how the office & tech staff are trained to run the operation of this practice. Efficient, patient and helpful! I’d feel very comfortable recommending this practice.

Vicki M.

I had a great time. Everyone was very friendly and professional. One nurse said I had nice eyes, which really helped my self esteem. Dr. Willie was fantastic. His concern about having magenta ink for the printer really shows what a caring man he is. The pictures turned out great. I framed them and hung them up on my wall at home. But, seriously the experience was pleasant. Thank you to everyone involved.

Terry M.

Lord knows having a colonoscopy is zero fun. The prep nearly did me in. But after arriving at suite 270 every single person was pleasant and efficient. The attention to cleanliness in the office is very apparent and appreciated. Every employee introduced themselves by name, apologized for an IV that took two tries and made sure I was as comfortable as can be before I was ready to leave. However, I’m going to enjoy every minute of the five years before I need to return!

Marie C.

I have been here several times and have always been treated great. The receptionist are so kind and the nurses are wonderful so is the anesthesia person are so kind and answers any concerns you might have. My Dr Bologna is awesome. This is the place to go if you need endoscopy or colonoscopy. Thank all the staff for being so kind

Debbie A.

Our Doctors

We’re proud of our team here at Digestive Health Institute. Our health care providers include some of the very best colorectal surgeons, gastroenterologists and physician assistants. To learn more about our qualified team of specialists, please visit our providers page.

Anezi E. Bakken MD, MS

Sante D. Bologna MD, FACP

M. Emin Donat MD, FRCPC

Ronald Fogel MDCM, MHSA

Freeha Khan MD

Partha S. Nandi

Leonard G. Quallich III MD

Aditi Saxena MD

Jack Tocco DO

John R. Weber MD

Richard T. Wille MD

FAQs

What happens during my first visit?
If you are a new patient, you can expect to have a complete physical exam. You will also be asked detailed questions about your current problems and your past medical history, your current medications, allergies, your family history and other pertinent medical information. If you are taking medications, please bring a completed medical history form with you to your appointment. Once the physician has reviewed your medical information and completed the physical examination, a plan of care will be developed. You may need to be seen again in the office, be referred back to your family physician for follow-up care, or require additional testing. If additional tests are needed, we will assist you in scheduling these tests.
What if I need to schedule an endoscopic procedure?

An endoscopic procedure allows the physician to visualize a part of your gastrointestinal tract with a special instrument called an endoscope. If your family physician has ordered testing, you will be contacted by telephone by one of our staff members. If a physician orders testing and you are in the office, the procedure can generally be scheduled during the course of your visit. You will be given a date, time, and location for the test, as well as written instructions telling you how to prepare for the test. If you have any questions about the procedure, please feel free to ask one of our staff members or the physician.

How do I get test results?

We ask that you wait 10 to 14 days before contacting us for results. Often results come from several different sources. This information needs to be compiled and reviewed by your physician before you can be appropriately advised. 

What insurances do you accept?

We accept payment from most insurance companies including Medicare, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Blue Care Network, Physicians Health Plan, Cofinity, Sparrow Professional Health Network, Medicaid, McLaren, Health Plus, and several others. Accepted insurances are subject to change at any time without notice.

If your insurance requires an authorization from your primary care physician, you may be asked to assist us in obtaining this authorization.

All patients are responsible for all copays and deductibles at the time of service.

If you have any questions regarding your benefits or insurance coverage, please contact our Billing Department at 248-844-9710.

What if I need to contact the doctor?

To contact your doctor during business hours please call our main number 248-844-9710. If you have an urgent need to speak with the doctor after hours, you will be rerouted to our after hours answering service, and your doctor will be paged. In the case of a medical emergency please proceed directly to the nearest hospital emergency room.

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