Eosinophilic Esophagitis - Diet

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What about elimination diets for treating eosinophilic esophagitis?

The leading theory about the cause of eosinophilic esophagitis is that it represents allergy to some protein found in food. Evidence has accumulated in children that diets that eliminate the allergy-inducing food can result in reversal of the esophagitis and disappearance of the eosinophils. Similar evidence now is accumulating in adult patients. Doctors have used elimination diets to define what the allergy-inciting foods might be.

There are several ways in which elimination diets can be attempted. The first is to do skin and blood tests looking for specific foods that might be causing the allergy and then eliminating these foods from the diet. The second is to eliminate the major groups of food to which allergy is common, specifically milk protein, soy, peanut/tree nuts, eggs, wheat, and seafood. Finally, individuals may be placed on an elemental liquid diet (a diet of digested food that no longer contains proteins that can provoke allergy), and then different foods can be added to the diet until the allergy-inducing food is found. None of these elimination diets are easy for physicians to perform or for patients to follow, especially children, and each has its pros and cons. Nevertheless, if one or two foods can be found that are responsible for the allergy, a near-normal diet can be resumed, and the need for medications can be eliminated

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Comment from: 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: December 30

I was diagnosed with EE (eosinophilic esophagitis) and started the elimination diet on October 19. I have eliminated the items specific to my skin testing - dairy, gluten, eggs and nuts as well as two extras, soy and fish. I was told by my allergist (who is an EE guru in our state) that I wouldn't do this. I was told since I have 2 young children, husband, and a busy life that I would never do it. Perhaps he was using reverse psychology - if so it worked. Although I haven't been perfect, I am doing well. I am eating more fresh fruits & vegetables, fresh meat and almost no processed foods. It isn't easy but when you think of what I am eating (and feeding my family) we are all better off for it. My husband misses me cooking with butter but he can put it on at the table if he chooses. Within the first week of the diet my obvious digestive symptoms were gone or nearly gone. The amazing part is that in that same time my joints no longer hurt, headaches were gone, and my energy level had increased! Since the start if I "fall off the wagon" I instantly (and I'm talking 15 minutes) ache in my joints like I'm an old lady again and my hiccups and choking start again. It isn't easy, but so worth it. If I could make an entire holiday dinner (that no one noticed until I told them) to fit my diet, then it can be done. It just takes an open mind, family support, and creativity.

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Comment from: Moo, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 14

I was recently diagnosed with eosinophilic esophagitis. Food allergy testing revealed multiple food sensitivities to eggs, chicken, turkey, beef, rice, oatmeal, barley, garlic, coffee, lettuce, carrots, green beans, and shrimp. Barley and especially garlic have been very difficult to avoid. Garlic is in an amazing number of things. I am also on Flovent and Prilosec. So far, swallowing has improved. Most of the foods I had the most trouble with are on the do not eat list.

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