Food Allergies May Indicate Eosiniphilic Esophagitis – EE is a disease that is an allergic reaction in the esophagus, the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach.
It’s been a while since I last wrote about my daughter’s EE (Eosiniphilic Esophagitis). The foods that trigger EE vary from person to person. In my daughter’s case, there are SEVERAL foods that cause problems for her. We started to notice something was up when she was only three months old and began with vomiting and digestive issues.
The most difficult aspect of Eosiniphilic Esophagitis in an infant is the constant struggle to diagnose. Every time I nursed her there was irritation for her and you can’t get feedback from an infant.
Food Allergies May Indicate Eosiniphilic Esophagitis
When she turned three, she was found to have stomach ulcers and acid reflux (diagnosed via an endo and colonoscopy).
When she turned five, I brought her back to the gastro specialist because I feared the ulcers had returned since she was complaining of a lot of pain. That is when they did another endoscopy and a biopsy which revealed the EE.
This has been challenging since I have, until this point, battled with the doctors and allergists who told me there was no way she was allergic to the foods since nothing would show up on any type of allergy test. She’s had both a RAST test and scratch tests. All negative. But, I insisted that I had discovered problematic foods through experimentation and that she would improve once I eliminated the foods. I was even accused of withholding too many foods from her for no reason. It was a very frustrating experience and although the Eosiniphilic Esophagitis news was saddening, it was also an explanation and verification of what we had been battling.
After the diagnosis, we visited an Eosiniphilic Esophagitis specialist. There still was not much we could do since we could not test for the allergies. We did do an allergy test (IgG) that is controversial and not covered by insurance. It revealed some allergens that we had not thought about, and we eliminated those foods. Then, the pain subsided and we were thrilled. We figured if we followed the current diet, she would outgrow her condition in a few years and one day be able to eat more foods. Some allergies (e.g. nuts) may never subside, but we’d be happy to eliminate several of the 30+ problematic foods.
The reason for me writing an update to my previous columns is that we are in the midst of discovering yet another problematic food(s). My daughter’s current diet consists of meats, some veggies, and some fruits. The only starch she can consume are potatoes. But lately, she has developed a rash on her arm that is so bad it’s scary. It started off like her typical rash she would get from wheat consumption, and then just grew until it covered a solid 3×3 patch that we can’t get to go away. So, of course, there must be another food that she has become sensitive to. Now that she is older, she tries to help. She suggested potatoes were the problem. I immediately said NO WAY – 100% being because I didn’t know what the heck I would do if I had to eliminate potatoes from her diet. Right now, I make potatoes every which way for her, mashed potatoes , hash browns, pan fried potatoes, homemade french fries, potato flour used in recipes , etc.
So far, we have begun the elimination process and today was her first day without potatoes. I wish I could say it made no difference, but so far, unfortunately, the swollen rash has improved. As much as I want to find out the culprit, I don’t want it to be potatoes! I worry about what to cook for her, I worry about her lack of variety in her diet, I worry that I will harm her and cause permanent damage in her esophagus if I don’t figure out the problems quick enough.
The elimination process of Eosiniphilic Esophagitis seems endless, it’s a constant science experiment to figure out the irritants… and it turns out… there are several. It’s so frustrating.
There are some Eosiniphilic Esophagitis clinical trials available that are recruiting participants. If I wasn’t so nervous about trying out something new, I would give it a shot. If you know someone with Eosiniphilic Esophagitis and you’d like to see a list of the clinical trials, click here.