Last Modified on Apr 26, 2016
What is Eosinophilic Esophagitis?
Eosinophilic esophagitis is an inflammation of the esophagus due to a build-up of white blood cells - specifically, eosinophils - in the esophageal tissue. Since eosinophilic esophagitis is often caused by exposure to stomach acid (along with allergies, infection, and as a side effect of certain medications), this digestive health condition can be related to acid reflux or GERD.
The cause of the inflammation related to eosinophilic esophagitis seems closely related to allergic reactions, but at this point the condition is poorly understood. Symptoms of eosinophilic esophagitis include extreme pain and difficulty in swallowing, but may also include nausea, stomach pain, and a feeling of having food stuck in your throat.
Alternative medicine offers a few options for treating eosinophilic esophagitis, starting with an elimination diet to discover and eliminate food allergens that may be triggering the allergic reaction in your esophagus and/or acid reflux symptoms. Supplementation with amino acids1 or more specifically adherence to a so-called "elemental diet"2 has likewise been shown to offer dramatic improvements for those with eosinophilic esophagitis.
Remedies for Eosinophilic Esophagitis
The Popularity of Eosinophilic Esophagitis Remedies - Full List
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When the esophagus is irritated nothing feels good and at night the problem worsens. I tried eating bananas every hour at night it is the only thing that worked. after few days I feel better. I tried all the remedies for four weeks and nothing worked as good as the bananas.
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Posted by Jazzdanca59 (Highett, Melbourne, Australia) on 12/20/2010
I have severe Oesophagitis. Am under care of a Specialist. He told me to give up tomatoes and bread. I didn't believe about the bread, but I have tested it, and he was right! . I occasionally indulge in a slice of healthy grain bread, but have found it's not worth it. What I have found remarkable for it is Coconut oil. It has lots of healthful qualities, (don't believe the propaganda about bad fats). It's a good fat, especially for hypothyroidism. Also, I have recently begun symptoms of Fibromyalgia, which I believe from lots of research ( Dr Low) is caused by extremely high oestrogen/very low progesterone. Oestrogen dominance causes hypothyroidism. I can keep the pain under control with a mix of coconut oil and Turmeric/Boswellia tablets, (which I have to buy from America). This combination will keep me far from any cancer threat as well.
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Posted by Renna (Sacramento, Ca) on 08/19/2013
My husband now 29 got diagnosed with eosinophilic esophagitis 5 years ago. We tried everything, he was seeing a research doctor that put him on all kinds of meds that just made him feel so sick. He had to quit his job drop off college for a while. This keeps going on and off he is never feeling good and when he is it never lasts. We decided to go a more hollistic approach and tried the eimination diet. He is allergic to most fresh fruits and vegetables which makes it difficult for him to be healthy. His health has suffered greatly and the worst part is that his immune system is compromised and he gets sick all the time. He had an epsidoe last month when he tried to eat bannans and has been so sick since nothing he eats goes well he has gone down from 160lbs to 133 and keeps losing more weight. I am scared and feeling helpless. Currently he is taken supplements and we are trying clay in his drinks. His diet is mostly organic brown rice potatoes almond milk and occasionally other things such as eggs apple sauce yogurt peanut butter and sprouted bread. We tried gluten free but it made him sick for some reason. I am worried mostly now about immediate remedies. It is important for him to put on some weight and recover a little before we try anything else.. Any suggestions? I would really appreciate it
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Ottawa, On, Canada
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Posted by Khloe (Fresno, Ca) on 11/09/2009
Try reading about leaky gut. I was diagnosed with EE several years ago after I had a gallbladder surgery, and they overdosed me on antibiotics. Several weeks later, I ended up developing leaky gut syndrome, which I believe is the altrenative medicine's name for the same condition. I could not eat anything without having an allergic reaction, and was down to just lettuce and brown rice and cooked vegetables. The only raw items I was able to eat was lettuce. I also ended up not only being allergic to mostly all food, but became severely chemically sensitive as well. It took me over a year and a half being on probiotics and supplements, mainly Zinc,digestive enzymes, NAC, and l-glutamine to help rebuild my intestines. I also did plenty of colonics and sauna treatments to help detoxify my body. Finding a good naturopath is extremely important. Especially someone who can test you for deficiencies.
When you take antibiotics, it destroys all bacteria, whether good or bad. The good bacteria never have a chance to colonize in the gut unless you replenish by taking probiotics. The bad bacteria end up creating tiny holes in your intestines. When you consume certain foods, the undigested proteins cross the blood barrier through these holes, and cause an allergic reaction.
I currently am on several vitamins and supplements daily, but I am now able to have a wider range of choices to eat from. I recommend also getting an ALCAT test to figure out what foods you may be intolerant to. These foods can be trigger foods, and set you up with a whole host of immune reactions from other seemingly safe foods.
Currently I try to avoid all gluten containing products as well as corn, soy and especially sugar. Try limiting your fruit to only two pieces, and make sure that they are not too sweet. Green apples work well. Get plenty of vitamin D (sunshine, fresh air, and spiritual time, and try to relieve stress through exercise. Stress makes it much worse.
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Crystal Lake, Il
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Posted by Lorraine (Mississippi) on 11/06/2013
I have been struggling with EE as well. Been following the elimation diet. Easier to swallow now. Have not had a repeated EGD. Gave upeggs, milk-dairy(cheese), nuts/tree nuts/coconuts, soy, fish, and gluten. I had a hard time at first, very hungry loaded up on rice and potatoes. For me the rice milk was the best alternative for someone who loved skim/2% milk. Tried to balance fat with veggies. Tried to supplement with a rice protein powder for amino support. You can mix it with water, applejuice or rice milk. I also added blueberries or strawberries. It's more expensive but very smooth.
Posted by Kpack (Ruston, La) on 12/09/2010
I am a 33 yo Female diagnosed EE 2 years ago through biopsy. This led me to get skin prick allergy tested and I was shocked to learn that at 31 I had 14 food allergies I had not had in my teens when I was 1st tested. My allergies including wheat, onion, chicken, peanut & green beans comprised about 90% of what I had been eating. My doctor put me on budesinide and the compounding pharmacist made it a suspension liquid that is easier for me than puffing the inhaler and swallowing the medicine. I've been asthmatic so long I totally kept inhaling every time I tried to take it. It was a GOD send!! Dysphagia and nausea was eliminated almost immediately and I only had to take it a week or 2. Now I just take it as needed.
Elimination diet helped with alot of my symptoms- no more headaches (Daily, debilitating stress headaches $thousands of dollars in meds, MRI's and testing only to find no known cause and was on Lortab 10's 2x a day just so I could hold a job), less asthma, less fatigue, less anxiety and also it increased the range of motion in my neck by reducing the inflammation in my neck and shoulders. Before I felt so bad all of the time I didn't realize how inflexible I had gotten. My Dr.s just kept saying exercise more, that I was getting older and was out of shape. :(
I still have insomnia, anxiety, IBS symptoms, occasional dysphagia and I am always bloated with water retention- I mean BAD bloated whether I am taking the steroids or not. It hurts to sit for more than an hour because I'm so bloated with water. After 2 years on elimination diet- my food allergies have mysteriously disappeared as quickly as they came. I only have a slight allergy to peanuts, but still have EE symptoms because I have many inhaled allergies like pollen and dustmites- but I have always had those allergies. My Dr.s don't know what has reversed my allergies (Lord knows it wasn't anything they did).
Last year I started eating only organic foods, much more whole foods- no processed stuff (Mainly because processed foods are all made with wheat and things I am allergic to) I wash my fruits and veggies religously and I try to grow a couple of veggies on my patio when I can. That way I know what's on them. My husband is a hunter so we ate mostly meat he killed which is very organic and untreated with antibiotics. I also started eating yogurt pretty regularly because it was convenient for me to pack for lunch since sandwiches were out of the question. I believe that my diet accidentally becoming more probiotic and less antibiotic and that along with getting away from the allergens has helped my intestines heal. This started me reading about leaky gut syndrome. Intestinal wall is damaged- leaks large protein molecules of food you eat across into bloodstream- white blood cells attack that protein and instantly you have food allergies. Before you are identified EE/ or allergic your Dr. may treat the symptoms with antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and antacids all of which further destroy the flora in your GI tract that is thought to protect your guts from leaking and you have a perpetuatal cycle. Stress, processed food diet and antibiotically treated food are also thought to destroy flora in the tract.
So elimination diet made me better- next I decided to start an actual probiotic regimen. 2 weeks in and I am not bloated AT ALL!! Since I've been sick I gained 30-40 Lbs. I felt hungry all the time, I craved sugar, I was exhausted so I didn't excercise and my body was in anaphylactic shock daily for years before I was diagnosed. The day I started elimination diet I was so sleepy for 3 days all I did was sleep. I hadn't taken a nap in almost 5 years my constant adrenaline rush made me too anxious to rest well. It was hard for me to diet because I would eat chicken and whole wheat when I did which was what I was allergic to. I'm still a big girl but Jeans with no bloating and no muffin top is such a blessing for me!!! I'm eager to learn more about the possible probiotic/ EE link and am currently looking into digestive enzymes, but haven't had time to read much about it. Is the probiotic thing anything you have looked into?
Posted by Lavoras (Chicago, Il) on 12/06/2010
Hi my son is 4 and was diagnosed 6 months ago with EE. I am a nurse and I am on the pursuit to find the cure, as physicians dont seem to know too much about this disease. When he was born they told me he had GERD and Colic. After many doctors, they went in did a biopsy and voila we now know what it is. We then did the elimination diet, went back in scoped and no eosinophils, great, however 4 weeks after he was vomiting 10-14 x a day.
Currently I took him off prevacid and I am trying the alternative route (chinese medicine). He is back on all foods due to chinese teas including ginger and we have 1 more week, no vomiting for 2 days and then yesterday only 1x. I must exhaust this avenue before I start pumping him up with steroids, etc. We havent gone down the road of a gtube because he is gaining weight. Let me know if I can help in anyway.
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Deer Park, New York
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Chicago, Il, Us
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San Fenando, Philippines
Posted by Angel (Concord, Nh) on 10/17/2010
My son is almost 3. He was diagnosed with EE over a year ago. Since that time, so much allergy testing has followed. He has many positives including anaphylactic and environmental. A few weeks ago, after being on a limited diet omitting all of the things he tested positive to, he had another scope, only to find that his esophagus is still in tough shape. They are trying one last diet, removing all the common allergens, whether testing positive to it or not. After 6 weeks, another scope will follow. If he doesn't look better, the recommendation and next step from Children's Hospital Boston EE clinic, is to insert a feeding tube and doing an elimination diet, after 2 weeks of oral foods. Has anyone gone this route? Is this scarier for me than it really is? I am looking for input either from parents who have gone this route or parents with children who have the same issues but took other measures. Thanks for all of the information posted so far. Angel
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City In, Iowa
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Orange City, Florida, Usa
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Deer Park, New York
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Staten Island, Ny
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Glen Allen, Va, Usa
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Cedar Rapids, Iowa
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Posted by J_stone (Indy, Indiana ) on 05/13/2013
My son is 6 1/2 years old and was diagnosed with Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EE) 3 years ago. We found that he was allergic to corn (which is in everything!). Turns out its all the processed corns such as hgh fructose corn syrup and maltodextrin. When we cut everything out of his diet that Had any type of corn or corn bi product he got better. We didnt think he had it anymore. For some reason it has came back. He was tested and his eosinophils are high again. They put him on Flovent and it is so expensive! Around $500 for a 3 month supply! I can't afford this medication and there is no generic for it. He has so many allergies, seasonal and non-seasonal that the best thing for us would be to go all natural. I welcome all suggestions and would love to hear what has worked for you or your children. Thank you.
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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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Posted by Kat (Jefferson City, MO) on 08/21/2014
When my husband and I first started dating, he was 26 years old. He warned me about this thing that happens to him where food gets stuck in his throat and he can't breathe until he makes himself throw up to get it out. Well, I got to witness this happen on several occasions over the next 6 years and became very concerned because every episode got just a little scarier. Finally, one day it happened while on vacation and not from food. He simply took a drink of water and it took 2 minutes for him to stop choking and start breathing again. He is an all-around typical guy who likes sports and no nonsense, so for him to admit how scary it was, was kind of a big deal.
His mother finally informed me that he had very severe acid reflux as an infant and threw up all the time until he turned a year old. After that, he was a perfectly healthy child until his 20's when the choking began.
When we returned home from vacation, we immediately made an appointment with his Dr to be referred to a GI for an endoscopy. The endoscopy revealed he had Eosinophilis Esophagitis and high levels of eosinophils and the "sticky rings". The Dr referred him to get tested for food and environmental allergies (even though he doesn't get allergy symptoms except the occasional sniffle in the spring and fall). She also put him on Omeprozale and a steroid inhaler that is swallowed. He takes the Omeprozale daily and the inhaler every few months. His allergy tests revealed ZERO food allergies and just a few seasonal allergies that weren't that bad.
Taking the medicine daily, along with chewing small bites and slowly and avoiding sticky foods such as breads has really helped. He also tries not to drink beer and that helps as well. He has a few other symptoms that have minimized since then as well including the constant bloody noses he used to get and waking up gasping for air sometimes at night. The snoring has also improved.
Two months ago, his father finally admitted to us that he used to have the same choking issues and eventually grew out of them. THEN his younger brother started having the issues at 30 years old. (husband is now 33). His brother just got an endoscopy and turns out to have EoE as well. However, his brother had severe asthma and allergies growing up, but no food allergies either. All seems to be hereditary in this family with the EoE.
Now we have an 8 month old son who has had terrible reflux since day 1 and has been on Zantac since 2 weeks old. I am terrified he will end up with the same choking issues and EoE.
Has anyone ever experienced this without food allergies? Also, do multiple family members have it?
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Posted by Ushasree (Chicago, Illinois) on 02/28/2013
I have been diagnosed with eosinophilic esophagitis 2 years ago but I have been suffering from it for the past 8 years or so. Can anyone help me get better?
Posted by Mala (Florida, US) on 08/02/2014
My son was diagnosed with Eosinophilic Esophagitis at the age of 18 mths, and his GE told me the count of 52 and 33 was the highest he'd ever seen. He referred us to an allergist and the battery of test showed that he was allergic to most things under the sun! With diet elimination and steroids his EE count was doing ok but I wanted him off steroids cause he's on a lot of meds for other things. Then one day someone who I trusted told me that they had had cancer stopped taking doctor's medicine and started taking ginger and turmeric pills. So I thought about it and decided that since my son never had any pain, I'll stop giving him steroids put him on these tablets and scope him within the year. I got the results of his scope yesterday and with the combination of a GF diet and these pills his count was 5!
I should mention that my husband is a physician who clearly does not believe in alternate medicine, but EE is an inflammatory disease and ginger and turmeric are anti inflammatory!
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New York, US
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New York, US
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New York, Ny
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Posted by Sherri In Bc (Surrey, Bc, Canada) on 12/09/2010
Our son is 14 1/2 years old and has been dealing with EE for over 4 years. The only thing that has completely stopped the reflux was the elimination diet. He could only eat 9 or 10 food items but at least he could go off his 40mg of Nexium. Unfortunately it wasn't enough nutrient to get him through puberty and baseball so we started the meds again and let him eat what he wants. Currently we have been working with a naturopath who said she could cure him. She actually said those words. I was not happy but it gave our son hope. After the Vega Testing she put him on a strict diet to bring down his candida numbers. After 4.5 weeks we retested. His number for candida went from 9 to 4 and it showed that we could reintroduce many of the foods that he had been denying himself. Unfortunately, if he missed his Nexium pill, even for a couple of hours in the morning, he had reflux. The goal was to get him off the pills and if the beginning stages of the diet didn't help what was the point of reintroducing foods?
She has also sent us to a 'chiropractor' that does visceral manipulation. She 'listen's' to my son's stomach (hands on stomach, eyes closed) and does cranial adjustments to put him 'back in sync'. She has recommended that we see a Constitutional Therapist. At this point we've spent several hundreds, if not a few thousand, searching for a cure for EE. I'm not interested in putting out more money because someone thinks my son has a 'sulphuric' constitution and therefore needs some Essence of Sulphur. So.... He has chosen to stop the diet, go back on the Nexium and live his life. Hopefully the Nexium will continue to work and he will continue to eat most of what he wants. (He cannot eat potatoes! )
We are discouraged and I was hoping that this discussion might be able to direct us to a legitimate 'natural' cure for EE. Sherri
Replied by Brooke
Montgomery, Tx, Usa
Posted by Krissi M (Washington, Pa) on 05/21/2010
My son's been diagnosed with this condition after about a year of throwing up and gagging. He does appear to have acid reflux because I observe him closely right before an "episode". We still have no idea what causes it in him, aside from the reflux. They've put him on Pulmicort which is a steriod he swallows. I sure do not like this and want something natural as well. Unfortunately, the common cures for acid reflux are things like cayenne pepper and ACV, and he's not quite old enough to take capsules. I'm afraid also that the course of treatment makes one worse before making them better. My son is three so I feel I cannot do this. Hoping someone else has found something.
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Posted by Angela (Tonasket, WA.) on 08/13/2008
An eating disorder only recognized since about 30 years ago is called EE for short. It is way under diagnosed, and often mistaken for acid reflux, and even celiac disease. A simple blood test can diagnose celiac disease, but when that comes back negative, you may need to do a scope of the esophagus to do a eosiniphil count. A lot of doctors don't even watch for an elegated count, or know what it means, but that's EE if it is. Basically it means your body is attacking itself bacause of an allergy causing inflamation. The result is coughing, throwing up some or all foods around the time of ingesting an allergen. When there are many allergens, it can cause malnutrition and even death if they can't figure out what to avoid. Not being a skin allergy, the doctor way of diagnosing is faulty at best. The only way I've found to help and we believe now cure it, is a muscle test to know what the allergy is, and then using a proceedure called NAET to permanently cure the allergy. It could be done at home yourself, but as it's not as likely to succeed without a trained professional. Some are better than others too. We found a chiropractor who has been curing people of allergies and allergy related diseases for 15 years. It's not exactly a home cure, but it's so helped us! With people everywhere still saying that EE is incurable, I just want to get it out there that this has been a life saver. Please pass it on.
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