Eosinophils are white blood cells that are particularly sensitive to allergic conditions like rhinitis, dermatitis or food allergies. Eosinophil levels increase rapidly in presence of any form of allergic reaction. Eosinophilic esophagitis is an allergic condition which is associated with elevated levels of eosinophil in the blood resulting in inflammation of the esophagus.
Like other forms of allergies, eosinophilic esophagitis is also linked with an allergic reaction to the food that we ingest. In most cases, the allergy is to a particular protein found in the food. In most cases, individuals with a family history of food allergies, dermatitis, asthma or rhinitis are prone to develop of this condition.
Symptoms Of Eosinophilic Esophagitis
While the key symptom associated with the condition is difficulty in swallowing, especially solid foods, there are certain other symptoms which may be observed. Almost all the symptoms may be attributed to inflammation of the esophagus,
- Heartburn or retrosternal burning is characterized by severe burning sensation along the sternum. In most cases, heart burn is aggravated after a meal, though it may occur on empty stomach as well.
- Vomiting during meals is another common symptom associated with the condition. This is attributed to reverse peristalsis.
- Abdominal pain and chest pain may be other manifestations of the condition. In most cases, this pain is linked with consumption of food.
- Other symptoms associated with the condition include weight loss, reduced appetite and refusal to eat food in general.
Occasionally, in addition other symptoms like runny nose, watery eyes, weakness, etc may be experienced as a result of elevated eosinophil count.
Natural Cures For Eosinophilic Esophagitis
The treatment for this condition is focused at identifying and eliminating the food/food allergen that triggers the condition.
- Physicians use elimination diet to identify these allergens. This diet comprises of the following stages. Though this technique is associated with various challenges and can hamper the health of the individual, this is considered to be the most optimum technique of identifying allergies,
- Skin and blood tests are performed to identify specific food allergies and these foods are avoided.
- Next stage involves elimination of major foods that have been known for allergies. These include milk, peanuts, egg, wheat, seafood, soy, etc.
- Finally the individual is put on an elemental liquid diet (i.e. diet of digested foods that don’t contain proteins that can trigger allergy) and solid foods are added to the diet to identify which food causes an allergy.
- Homeopathic drugs are used to alleviate the symptoms of retrosternal burning and abdominal pain. Nux Vomica is one of the leading and most effective drugs. This drug may be prescribed in low potency.
- Prepare a paste comprising of turmeric, raw honey and freshly crushed garlic flakes and take a teaspoon of this paste 2 to 3 times a day. Turmeric and garlic have anti-inflammatory properties which can help alleviate some of the symptoms, while honey has a soothing effect on the esophagus.
Unfortunately, eosinophilic esophagitis is a condition which is not well understood. Though research is underway to understand the condition, many more research studies need to be performed. Further, linkage between this condition and other allergic conditions need to be reviewed.