What is Eosinophilic Esophagitis?
What is Eosinophilic Esophagitis? Eosinophilic Esophagitis is an inflammation of the esophagus or esophagus (a pipe-shaped organ composed of muscles that feed food from the mouth to the stomach). Eosinophilic Esophagitis risks damaging the esophageal tissues.
Eosinophilic Esophagitis can cause pain and difficulty in swallowing, canker sores, and chest pain. In some cases, esophagitis may result in narrowing of the congestion or esophageal disease of Barrett which is one of the risk factors for esophageal cancer. Both of these complications may occur if the esophagitis is ignored or does not get proper treatment.
Symptoms of Eosinophilic Esophagitis
Symptoms commonly experienced by people with esophagitis are:
- Difficulty and pain when swallowing.
- The insertion of food in the esophagus.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Chest pain (usually felt on the back of the breastbone while eating).
- Gastric acid feels up into the esophagus or to the mouth (regurgitation).
In children, in addition to being characterized by difficulty eating or swallowing breast milk, esophagitis can also be marked by disruption of growth.
Causes of Eosinophilic Esophagitis
Esophagitis is often a symptom of an underlying disease. There are several factors that cause esophagitis, among others:
- Reflocal Esophagitis. In this condition, there is a disturbance in the esophageal sphincter (a valve that serves to hold the stomach fluids in order not to rise into the esophagus). Performance of the affected valve (exposed at improper or not completely closed) causes stomach acid to rise into the esophagus and trigger esophagitis.
- Eosinophilic Esophagitis. This condition is characterized by high concentrations of white blood cells in the esophagus. This condition usually affects people who are allergic to certain types of food or allergies to non-food ingredients, such as dust allergies.
- Infectious Esophagitis. Caused by bacterial, viral or fungal infections of the esophageal tissue, especially in patients with weakened immune systems, eg HIV patients, cancer, or diabetes.
- Drug-induced Antiphagitis. Several types of drugs, such as potassium chloride, antibiotics or pain medication (ibuprofen or aspirin), can damage esophageal tissue when in contact with the lining of the esophagus in the long term. Irritation to the lining is usually also caused by the habit of swallowing the drug without water.
Some of the following factors can increase a person’s risk for esophagitis, including:
- A history of esophagitis in the family.
- Never have an allergic reaction.
- Often consume fatty foods or large portions of food.
- Eat caffeine, chocolate, alcohol, or foods with excessive mint flavor.
- Go straight to bed after eating.
- Swallowing large pills.
- Swallow pills with little or no water.
- Swallowing the medicine with a lying position or just before bed.
- Treatment with antibiotics or steroids.
- Have a low immunity.
Diagnosis of Eosinophilic Esophagitis
If the doctor suspects the patient is suffering from esophagitis, then there are some examination actions that will be done, namely:
- Endoscopy. The doctor will insert a small camera into the esophagus to see something abnormal inside the organ.
- Laboratory test. After an endoscopic examination is performed, the doctor will take tissue samples for further study in the laboratory.
- Imaging test, with X-rays and barium. In this method, the patient will be asked to swallow a liquid containing barium or barium pills first. This substance will cover the lining of the esophagus and the stomach, so that the structure of the esophagus can be seen clearly when carried out imaging with X-rays.
Treatment and Complications of Eosinophilic Esophagitis
Treatment of esophagitis aims to relieve symptoms, reduce the risk of complications and treat the cause. Handling suggested by a doctor will depend on the cause of the esophagus itself, including:
- Eesophagitis Reflux. Usually it will be handled by the administration of drugs either free (such as antacids, ranitidine, cimetidine, omeprazole, and lansoprazole) or a more powerful prescription drugs (eg dexlansoprazole, rabeprazole, pantoprazole, omeprazole, lanzoprazole, and esomeprazole). If surgery is required it will be done to improve the condition of the esophagus.
- Infectious Ephophagitis. Doctors commonly prescribe drugs to treat bacterial infections, viruses, fungi, or parasites that cause esophagitis appears.
- Drug-induced Antiphagitis. The main treatment for this type of esophagitis is to avoid the consumption of drugs that cause esophagitis, as well as change the technique of taking the drug.
- Eosinophilic Eosophagitis. Usually doctors will advise sufferers of this condition to avoid allergic triggers, as well as to provide medications to reduce allergic reactions (eg esomeprazole, omeprazole, dexlansoprazole, pantoprazole, lansoprazole, and rabeprazole).
The doctor may perform surgical procedures of dilation of the esophagus, if the organ has narrowed sufficiently badly or if there is food stuck.
If left untreated, esophagitis can cause structural changes in the esophagus, where the esophagus will narrow. In addition, the complications that can arise are Barrett’s esophagus. This condition will change the cell layer in the esophagus so that makes a person more vulnerable to esophageal cancer.