Eosinophillic Esophagi is (EoE) is an allergic condition in which the esophagus develops an overgrowth of immune cells. This leads to symptoms that are somewhat similar to acid reflux disease. One of the symptoms that frequently gets patients to the doctor is dysphasia or problems swallowing.
Problems swallowing happen with EoE when the overgrowth of immune cells and damage cause the esophagus to swell. This swelling interferes with the normal function and peristalsis of the esophagus. It can also lead to choking or aspirations. Untreated dysphasia can also lead to aspiration pneumonias.
Recent research has noted that patients with EoE and dysphasia can benefit from an elimination diet that removes the six most commonly allergenic foods (milk, soy, egg, wheat, peanuts/tree nuts and shellfish/fish). In the study 78% of the patients received a 50% or greater reduction in symptoms.
If you are dealing with EoE and dysphasia talk to your doctor about an elimination diet. These diets can be complicated, with hidden allergens found frequently in foods, so you may want to enlist the help of a registered dietitian or nutritionist. They can help you identify safe foods while you are eliminating allergic ones.
Elimination diets are a simple yet effective way to help patients manage symptoms of this painful disorder. With a little help, patients can improve their quality of life by following this plan.
Jennifer Rackley is a nutritionist and mother of three girls. Two of her children have dealt with acid reflux disease, food allergies, migraines, and asthma. She has a Bachelor of Science in dietetics from Harding University and has done graduate work in public health and nutrition through Eastern Kentucky University. In addition to writing for HealthCentral, she does patient consults and serves on the Board of Directors for the Pediatric Adolescent Gastroesophageal Reflux Association.