APFED describes eosinophils as, "a type of white blood cell, are an important part of the immune system, helping us fight off certain types of infections, such as parasites". These eosinophils can gather in great quantities in certain areas of the bodies. Further, "Many different problems can cause high numbers of eosinophils in the blood including allergies (food and environmental), certain infections (caused by parasites), eosinophil associated gastrointestinal disorders, leukemia, and other problems...Eosinophilic disorders are further defined by the area of the body affected. For instance, eosinophilic esophagitis is associated with abnormally high numbers of eosinophils in the esophagus..." commonly referred to as EoE.
Common symptoms of EoE:
- Reflux that does not respond to usual therapy (medicines which stop acid production in the stomach) – infant, child, adult
- Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) child, adult
- Food impactions (food gets stuck in the esophagus) older children, adult
- Nausea and Vomiting – infant, child, adult
- Failure to thrive (poor growth, malnutrition, or weight loss) and poor appetite – infant, child, rarely adult
- Abdominal or chest pain –child, adult
- Feeding refusal/intolerance or poor appetite – infant, child
- Difficulty sleeping due to chest or abdominal pain, reflux, and/or nausea – infant, child, adult
For more information on Eosinophilic disorders, please visit APFED at http://apfed.org.
For support, please contact WAEC at http://washingtoneos.org/.