Eosinophils are a normal part of the blood and certain body tissues. They travel to areas when needed to respond to things such as allergens. When the eosinophils reach the area where the allergen is “attacking” they release toxins to protect the body. As this is happening inflammation occur to that area. Common “attack” site areas include the esophagus and stomach.
Eosinophilic asthma occurs from aeroallergens that are inhaled and cause inflammation. Controlling inflammation and decreasing exposure (as much as possible) will help keep this under control.
Eosinophilic esophagitis is caused by food allergens and on occasion aero allergens (inhaled environmental allergens). Symptoms often times are the same as those of acid reflux, abdominal discomfort, vomiting, trouble swallowing, and on occasion food becoming stuck within the esophagus itself. At times children will show slow growth. Diagnosis is done by endoscopy and biopsy of the esophagus. Treatment includes an elimination diet, swallowed steroids and treatment for acid reflux.