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Diseases & Conditions

Eosinophilic Esophagitis

Eosinophilic esophagitis is a chronic disease of the immune system. It occurs when white blood cells called eosinophils build up in the lining of the esophagus causing inflammation and damage. The condition can result in food getting stuck in the throat and difficulty swallowing.

Causes

The buildup of eosinophils in the esophageal tissue is normally the result of acid reflux or a reaction to foods or other allergens. A specific protein produced by the eosinophils causes inflammation. This can ultimately lead to scarring and the development of fibrous tissue that can cause narrowing of the esophagus. Although the exact cause of the condition is not clear, some experts believe that some people may have a genetic predisposition to developing the condition.

Many patients with eosinophilic esophagitis also suffer from other immune system conditions, including atopic dermatitis, asthma, environmental and food allergies, and chronic respiratory disease. The condition was first identified approximately 20 years ago, and the number of people diagnosed with the disease is on the rise. The reason for this may be two-fold. First, the increased availability of upper endoscopy and greater awareness of the disease makes it easier for doctors to diagnose the condition. Second, some studies suggest that the condition is becoming more common, similar to the increases seen in allergies and asthma.

Symptoms of Eosinophilic Esophagitis

Adults with the disease may experience food impaction and difficulty swallowing along with abdominal pain and a persistent feeling of heartburn or chest discomfort that is not relieved by antacids. The patient may also experience regurgitation and reflux symptoms that do not improve with traditional acid reflux medications. Children will show similar symptoms in addition to vomiting and a failure to grow or gain weight as expected.

Treatment of Eosinophilic Esophagitis

Treatment of the condition typically involves a combination of diet therapy to identify potential food allergies and medications, including acid reducers and steroids. Our pharmacy carries a wide selection of prescription medications to treat gastrointestinal conditions, including eosinophilic esophagitis.

Medications to Treat Eosinophilic Esophagitis

Over-the-Counter Medications:

  • Flovent
  • Protonix
  • Nexium
  • Prilosec
  • Aciphex

Compounded Medications: We can make capsules or oral suspensions of the following:

  • Fluticasone
  • Omeprazole
  • Lansoprazole
  • Budesonide
  • "It is rare to find health professionals who are so willing to educate the patient on what they need to know."

    Clair C. | West Hollywood, CA