Eosinophilic esophagitis is a chronic condition that affects four out of 10,000 people in the United States. To accurately diagnose this disease, the medical team at Illinois Gastroenterology Group offers on-site diagnostics, including allergy testing and upper endoscopies, at their offices in Oak Lawn, Oakbrook Terrace and Palos Heights, Illinois. Whether you need help changing your diet or medications to control inflammation, you can rely on the comprehensive care available at Illinois Gastroenterology Group. Call the office nearest you to schedule an evaluation or use the online booking feature to request an appointment.
Eosinophilic esophagitis is a chronic inflammatory disease of the esophagus triggered by an allergic reaction.
The esophagus is the tube that connects your mouth to your stomach. When eosinophil, a type of white blood cell, builds up in this tube, it triggers chronic inflammation that can ultimately damage the esophagus.
This buildup of eosinophil is believed to occur because of a reaction in your immune system to certain foods. If you have existing food or environmental allergies, you may be at increased risk for developing eosinophilic esophagitis.
The symptoms of eosinophilic esophagitis can vary from person to person. In general, the condition can make it difficult for you to swallow food or saliva. You may also experience symptoms like:
Because of these symptoms, you may experience a disruption in your sleep patterns and changes in your appetite.
During your evaluation for eosinophilic esophagitis, your Illinois Gastroenterology Group provider discusses your symptoms and reviews your medical history.
To get a better look at your esophagus, the Illinois Gastroenterology Group team offers on-site upper endoscopy procedures. An endoscopy involves the insertion of a thin tube in through your mouth and down into your esophagus.
The tube contains a tiny light and camera, which sends real-time images of your inner structures to an external monitor. Your doctor watches the monitor to identify esophageal damage and evaluate its severity.
Based on the results of your upper endoscopy, your Illinois Gastroenterology Group doctor creates a treatment plan to ease your symptoms and improve the health of your esophagus.
Because eosinophilic esophagitis is thought to be triggered by a reaction to certain foods, you may need to start an elimination diet and undergo allergy testing. An elimination diet requires you to remove specific foods from your diet one by one to determine if they are the root cause of your symptoms or condition. Your Illinois Gastroenterology Group doctor supervises dietary changes to ensure your health and safety.
In some cases, you may need medications to control and prevent inflammation in the esophagus. Medications, like inhaled steroids, can make it easier for you to swallow foods and reduce your risk for choking.
The Illinois Gastroenterology Group team continues to monitor your health as you move forward with an elimination diet and medication therapy. As eosinophilic esophagitis is a chronic condition, it’s important that you stay proactive about avoiding foods that trigger an allergic reaction and schedule routine checkups to monitor your esophageal health.
If you have symptoms of eosinophilic esophagitis and need an evaluation, schedule an appointment with the medical team at Illinois Gastroenterology Group online or by phone today.