Eosinophilic Esophagitis in Northwest Arkansas

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Eosinophilic esophagitis (shortened as EoE) is an inflammatory disease that may occur in the esophagus. Any time a certain kind of white blood cell known as an eosinophil builds up in the esophageal lining, the esophagus can become swollen (resulting in esophagitis). The accumulation of the white blood cells is usually a response to acid regurgitation or a reaction to allergens or food. EoE has been known to be a concern for people of every age. However, it is more common in younger, male Caucasians, who account for about 75% of occurrences. At GI Alliance of Arkansas, our physicians provide individualized care for EoE. If you are diagnosed with EoE in Arkansas, call our location to request a treatment consultation.

The number of patients being diagnosed with EoE has been on the rise in recent years, a trend that researchers believe is related to the rise in allergies and asthma.

A few of the common culprits of eosinophilic esophagitis are:

  • Allergic response (to pollen, food, etc.)
  • Chest pain or abdominal pain
  • Dysphagia and impaction (difficulty swallowing, or having food become lodged in the esophagus)
  • Esophageal damage (inflammation of the esophagus could result in tissue scarring and esophageal narrowing)

Some of the risk factors related to being diagnosed with eosinophilic esophagitis are:

  • Time of year (people are more likely to receive a diagnosis of EoE during times of elevated levels of pollen and other allergens)
  • Asthma and allergies
  • Family history of EoE
  • Males are more likely to suffer from EoE
  • Geographic location (individuals living in cold, dry climates have a greater likelihood of being diagnosed)

EoE signs and symptoms can vary between children and adults. The primary symptoms for adults will include:

  • Acid reflux
  • A lack of results from acid reflux medication
  • Food becoming impacted in your esophagus when eating
  • Pain in the upper stomach
  • Cough
  • Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
  • Pain in the chest

The usual EoE symptoms for children could include:

  • Difficulty feeding (infants)
  • Poor growth, unexplained loss of weight, malnutrition
  • Difficulty eating (children)
  • Dysphagia
  • Vomiting
  • Pain in the stomach or abdomen
  • Impaction (food blockage in the esophagus)

If you or a loved one are experiencing any combination of these symptoms, or if you use over-the-counter (OTC) medication for heartburn more often than twice a week, contact us to request a consultation with a GI Alliance of Arkansas provider as soon as you can.

Eosinophilic esophagitis treatments in Arkansas mainly focus on treating the symptoms that are caused by the disorder. If it's determined that your symptoms are triggered by food allergies, your doctor will probably advise you to stay away from those foods. Patients are commonly directed to follow the six-food elimination diet (SFED), removing wheat, milk, eggs, nuts, soy, fish, and shellfish from their diet for an indicated amount of time. Symptoms are watched closely, and specific foods are slowly added back into the diet to determine which foods are causing the reaction. Specific medications could be prescribed, like topical steroids or a proton pump inhibitor. If symptoms persist, your physician could suggest esophageal dilation. Esophageal dilation is a treatment to assist in the stretching of the diameter of your esophagus to create ease when swallowing.

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If you or a loved one are living with EoE, we urge you to partner with the skilled physicians at GI Alliance of Arkansas for expert help and compassionate care. Our board-certified gastroenterology providers employ a patient-centered approach to manage and treat conditions such as eosinophilic esophagitis and optimize your health. To consult with a provider who is experienced in EoE treatments in Arkansas, please reach out to our team as soon as possible.

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Dr. O'Keefe was very helpful in stopping the lower GI bleed during my recent hospital visit. The followup testing using the swallowed camera was accomplished easily. The small intestines did not indicate any further abnormalities. I would still like to see the pictures if that is possible.

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. They are fantastic. They go above and beyond. All are very professional, kind and understanding.I will continue to use them will refer them to friends, family and colleagues.

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