EOE

What is EoE?

October 10, 2022

Parents of children with Food Allergies should become familiar with the symptoms of EoE, a chronic disease that is more prevalent for FA kiddos.

I'm Lauren

Navigating food allergies can be pretty difficult at first. This blog serves as a guide for parents of children with food allergies.  Food allergy moms have a lot to worry about. Being alone on this journey is not one of them! 

hello,

EoE stands for Eosinophilic Esophagitis. Tough to say, tough to live with! Many kiddos with food allergies also get an EoE diagnosis. Both of my girls have been diagnosed with EoE.

My short explanation of EoE is this: Certain foods (usually milk or wheat) trigger white blood cells to gather in the esophagus. After a while, the white blood cells make eating and swallowing difficult. Each kiddo can present different symptoms. As a baby with EoE, Jenna was MISERABLE. After each bottle or meal, she would cry in pain for up to 2 hours. However, Bailey only shows symptoms during colds and viruses…she pukes relentlessly every. time. If you’d like a more in-depth and professional explanation of EoE, visit the Apfed Website for more information.

Why should food allergy parents care about EoE? Our GI made a chart that shows the 3 immune issues that make a child more susceptible to EoE:

3 Immune Issues that make a child more susceptible to EoE.

Since it is widely known kiddos with food allergies, asthma, and eczema are more likely to have the disease, it is important you be on the lookout for the most common symptoms. Those symptoms include choking on food, having a hard time swallowing, pain in the throat, chest or belly, and poor appetite. If you suspect your child has EoE, contact your doctor or schedule an appointment with a GI doctor (do it now, there is most likely a wait list). Although EoE is not known to be life-threatening, it is an emergency if food becomes stuck in the esophagus. Typically, when this happens, your child will cough uncontrollably or drool excessively. You need to seek emergency medical attention at that point.

So, now we know the basics. We received Jenna’s EoE diagnosis after a year of issues and doctor’s appointments. It felt like a huge blow after already having food allergies. At the time, we were instructed to remove the top 8 allergens from Jenna’s diet. Any mom of a food allergy kiddo can imagine how I took that blow. We were already avoiding Peanuts and Eggs…NOW I HAVE TO AVOID ALL THE THINGS?!? Thank goodness since she was diagnosed, Doctors have determined for most kids, the culprit of a flare-up is wheat or dairy.

If your child’s doctor suspects EoE, the only effective way to receive a diagnosis is by an Endoscope. And if your child does indeed receive the diagnosis….get ready for regular scopes. I can’t say I enjoy putting my kids through an endoscope but it does get easier. Check out my blog and Bailey’s (my oldest daughter) video on preparing for scope here!

If I could go back and tell myself anything, it would be this: As you did with food allergies, take it one meal at a time. Also, EoE is not the same as food allergies. Yes, you want to avoid the foods but the risk of cross-contamination isn’t as severe. EoE is not immediately life-threatening as Food allergies so take it slowly and do not tear up your kitchen trying to eliminate all traces. It isn’t as necessary as it is for food allergies.

In summary, if you suspect EoE due to choking, chest or belly aches, or low appetite, immediately call your doctor and schedule an appointment with a GI doctor. If you do receive the diagnosis, know out of the two…EoE is a bit easier than Food Allergies but still a major adjustment.

Do you have any questions? Did your child have different symptoms? Comment below!

**Remember, I am not a medical professional! If you have any medical questions or concerns, contact your doctor to discuss them.**

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I'm Lauren, your new Food Allergy mom friend.

My great grandmother made sure I had her peanut butter cookie recipe memorized before the age of 10. Good southern food was part of my upbringing.  NOW, I am the mother of two daughters with severe food allergies and a GI disease. That means cooking without eggs, dairy, wheat, soy, peanuts, and tree nuts. I can remember thinking, 'What am I going to feed a kid that is allergic to everything?!?'. However, after years of my youngest being on the elimination diet...I can assure you, living with food allergies is doable. 

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Need some help with easy meals and snacks?

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A week of safe meals!

Please note: I am not a doctor or healthcare professional. Always follow your child's doctor's advice. Always read food labels as ingredients can and do change from time to time. 

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