What is the definition of Eosinophilic Enteropathy?
Eosinophilic gastroenteritis occurs when certain white blood cells known as eosinophils get into the digestive tract and cause damage. Symptoms of eosinophilic gastroenteritis usually start in adulthood and may include stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and the inability to absorb nutrients from food. Sometimes, a blockage in the intestines occurs. In most people, symptoms occur from time to time and may go away completely with treatment. The exact cause of eosinophilic gastroenteritis is unknown, but it may be due to an abnormal response of the immune system to food allergies. Diagnosis is based on the symptoms, a clinical exam, laboratory tests, and by excluding other more common conditions. Treatment is focused on managing the symptoms and includes diet and medication.
What are the alternative names for Eosinophilic Enteropathy?
- Eosinophilic gastritis
- Eosinophilic enteritis
- Eosinophilic gastroenteropathy
- Eosinophilic esophagitis
- Eosinophilic gastroenterocolitis
What are the causes for Eosinophilic Enteropathy?
The exact cause of eosinophilic gastroenteritis is unknown. It is thought that an abnormal immune reaction to a food allergy, along with genetic factors, may contribute to the development of this condition.
What are the symptoms for Eosinophilic Enteropathy?
The following list includes the most common signs and symptoms in people with eosinophilic gasteroenteritis. These features may be different from person to person. Some people may have more symptoms than others and symptoms can range from mild to severe. This list does not include every symptom or feature that has been described in this condition.
Symptoms of eosinophilic gastroenteritis may include:
- Stomach pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Inability to absorb nutrients from food (malabsorption)
- Weight loss
- Intestinal obstruction
Symptoms can occur at any age but they usually develop between ages 30 and 50. Children with eosinophilic gastroenteritis may have problems with growth due to malabsorption. In general, symptoms tend to occur periodically, and may go away completely with treatment.
What are the current treatments for Eosinophilic Enteropathy?
Treatment of eosinophilic gastroenteritis is focused on managing the symptoms. In most cases, dietary restrictions and medications can improve the symptoms of this condition. In some people, surgery may be necessary to remove an intestinal blockage.
Specialists involved in the care of someone with eosinophilic gastroenteritis may include:
- Allergy and asthma specialist
- Infectious disease specialist
How is Eosinophilic Enteropathy diagnosed?
Diagnosis of eosinophilic gastroenteritis is based on the symptoms, clinical exam, laboratory tests, and imaging studies. Laboratory tests may include blood tests for immunoglobulins, red and white blood cell levels, and infections. Imaging studies may include a CT scan and an endoscopy to look at the stomach and intestines. It may also be necessary to do a take a small piece of tissue from the intestine to exam under the microscope (biopsy). It is often necessary to exclude other more conditions before diagnosing eosinophilic gastroenteritis.