EoE Specialist in New Lenox, IL
Many Americans suffer with a chronic/allergic condition also known as eosinophilic. It is an immune condition that can affect the ability to swallow food and cause “food impaction”. Dr Zahid Afzal, MD has the knowledge and experience to provide diagnose & treatment to lead you to a healthier and happier life.
What is Eosinophilic Esophagitis?
Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is a severe chronic disorder of a persons’ digestive system in which large numbers of a certain type of white blood cells, called eosinophils, are present inside the esophagus. The esophagus is the tube located in your throat that carries food from your mouth to your stomach. Eosinophils play a very important part for the immune system and are vital in immune regulation and fighting certain types of infections. You are able to distinguish if a person has this condition because it is characterized by vomiting, severe stomach or chest pain, difficulty swallowing, and if food getting stuck in their throat.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Eoe?
The symptoms of eosinophilic esophagitis can vary, especially in people who are different ages. Common symptoms include having difficulty swallowing; food getting caught in the throat; nausea; vomiting; weight loss; stomach pain; and poor appetite. Because there is a possibility of an having multiple symptoms with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), many patients are initially thought to have GERD.
What Are the Causes of Eoe?
Eosinophilic esophagitis is usually caused by the patient having a large number of eosinophils in the esophagus. The large number and accumulation of eosinophils may be caused by many factors which include: immune hypersensitivity responses to a particular food(s) or environmental allergens. Some patients with this condition have been found to have an unusually high amount of a particular gene called eotaxin-3. This gene is a particular protein that is extremely important in controlling the excess development of eosinophils. Eosinophilic esophagitis can run in the family as well, but however, the risk for additional family members developing this is extremely low unless they are twins with the person who has EoE.
Are There Other Disorders Related or Similar to Eoe?
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a digestive disorder that is characterized by acid reflux of the stomach or small intestines back into the esophagus. Symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease may include a warming or burning sensation rising up to the neck. This is also known as heartburn. Other symptoms may include swallowing difficulties, and chest pain. This condition is a very common disease/problem in many people and may also be a symptom of other, possibly more serious, gastrointestinal disorders.
Another relative digestive disorder includes ulcerative colitis. This is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that is unfortunately developed from an unknown cause. A doctor is able to characterize this condition by chronic inflammation in the lining of the major part of the large intestine, which is the colon. In most people that are affected, the rectum is the portion that is initially affected. As this disease develops and progresses, some parts or all parts of the colon have the chance of becoming infected.
Another disease that can be related to EoE is Crohn’s disease. This is an inflammatory bowel disease that is identified by a patient having severe to chronic inflammation of the intestinal wall or any other portion of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The lower portion of the small intestine, including the rectum, are the areas that are most commonly affected by this disorder, however, the esophagus may also be involved. Some symptoms to keep a look out for may include: watery diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever and weight loss. Currently the exact cause of Crohn’s disease is unknown.
For a diagnosis and treatment call Southwest Gastroenterology at (815) 584-0077. We are conveniently located near you at 678 Cedar Crossings Drive New Lenox, IL 60451. Open Monday through Friday from 9:00am –5:00pm.