Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is an allergic condition of the esophagus, the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach. EoE can affect a child’s ability to eat and thrive. While there is no cure, children can remain healthy and active if they are diagnosed early and receive ongoing care from a team of experts.
Duke pediatric gastroenterologists and pediatric allergists are specialists in diagnosing and treating EOE. Pediatricians refer children to us who are suspected of having the condition. We also provide second opinions if your child has been seen elsewhere. We can confirm the diagnosis and start young children through teens on individualized treatment programs. We help you and your child learn to live with this chronic condition.
About Eosinophilic Esophagitis
Eosinophilic esophagitis occurs when a type of white blood cell called eosinophils accumulate in the esophagus and cause inflammation. While the exact cause of eosinophilic esophagitis is unknown, in some cases it may be caused by allergic sensitivity to certain foods. Eosinophils may also show up in the esophagus as a result of:
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Other types of esophagitis
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
Children with EoE may experience trouble swallowing, vomiting, and other symptoms that can cause weight loss and failure to thrive. If eosinophilic esophagitis is left untreated, it can cause the esophagus to narrow, which can make swallowing even more difficult and lead to choking on food.
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A small tube with a camera at its tip is inserted through the mouth. This allows your gastroenterologist to view the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum, which make up the upper part of the GI tract. At the same time, a small sample of tissue may be removed from the esophagus to look for the presence of eosinophils, which confirms a diagnosis of EoE.
Why Choose Duke
Every Child with EoE Is Different
As experts in diagnosing and treating eosinophilic esophagitis and other eosinophilic-related gastrointestinal disorders, we get to know your child and provide ongoing care that fits your family’s needs.
A Team of Dedicated Specialists
Our pediatric gastroenterologists, allergists, and dietitians are available to answer your questions and make sure you understand the challenging aspects of your child’s care.
Your Convenience Is Our Concern
We coordinate your child’s appointments so his or her specialists are available at one convenient location. Allergy testing can be performed right in our clinic.
We consider the medical aspects of your child’s condition as well as your family’s lifestyle and preferences when we make treatment recommendations. As your child matures, we help you adjust their treatments to keep him or her healthy and active.
A Sense of Community
We understand that EoE can make your child feel isolated. That’s why we make it possible for you and your child to meet other families who can share their experiences with this condition. Sharing the challenges of EoE, along with stories about what works for others can help you feel more confident about your child’s health.