Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is an allergic/immune condition that’s been identified within the past two decades. It’s considered to be a major cause of illnesses of the digestive system.
In this blog, Dr. Anthony Borcich will explain what eosinophilic esophagitis is and where you can be evaluated for this disease.
What is eosinophilic esophagitis?
Eosinophilic esophagitis is a chronic immune system disease. It occurs when a specific type of white blood cell (the eosinophil) builds up in your esophagus. This occurs in response to foods, allergens, or acid reflux, and it persists even if you take medication to reduce or block acid.
This accumulation can damage the esophageal tissue and make eating uncomfortable or difficult. It can cause swallowing to become difficult or cause food to get caught when you swallow. You may also experience chronic pain.
What causes eosinophilic esophagitis?
EoE is a distinct condition that has very different causes. It’s an allergic reaction in which the lining of your esophagus reacts to pollen or other environmental allergies or to a specific food.
Eosinophils are a normal type of white blood cell that’s present in your digestive tract, but if you have eosinophilic esophagitis, they multiply in your esophagus. Researchers think that certain genes may play a role in determining who actually develops EoE, and it’s also thought to be more common in people who have asthma or chronic respiratory disease, in addition to the allergy-related link.
Eosinophils produce a protein that causes inflammation, which can lead to scarring, narrowing, and the formation of excessive fibrous tissue in the lining of your esophagus.
As a result, you may find it difficult to swallow (dysphagia) or have food that gets stuck when you swallow (impaction), in addition to other symptoms.
What are the symptoms of eosinophilic esophagitis?
The signs and symptoms of eosinophilic esophagitis include:
- Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
- Food that gets stuck when you swallow (impaction)
- Chest pain that doesn’t respond to antacids and is often located in the center of the chest
- Persistent heartburn
- Upper abdominal pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Lack of response to medications that treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)Backflow of undigested food (regurgitation)
Where can I get evaluated for eosinophilic esophagitis in the NYC area?
Currently, the only way to diagnose EoE is with an endoscopy and biopsy of the esophagus. An endoscopy is a medical procedure that utilizes a thin, hollow tube that has a light and a small video camera that projects pictures onto a computer screen. This allows the doctor to see exactly what’s happening in your esophagus. During a biopsy, a small sample of tissue is taken to be analyzed.
Dr. Anthony Borcich, has more than 30 years of experience in diagnosing and treating gastrointestinal disorders and is known for his compassionate, personalized approach to patient care.
Dr. Borcich performs most of his upper endoscopy procedures at Manhattan Endoscopy Center, New York City’s newest, most modern endoscopy center. This state-of-the-art facility offers the latest equipment and bright procedure rooms. The center strives to make each patient’s procedure as efficient and pleasant as possible, providing the personal attention of an office-based procedure while meeting strict hospital-level safety standards.
Schedule an appointment today by contacting our office or filling out the schedule appointment form on this page.