Trouble swallowing could be sign of condition ‘commonly seen in white males’

Trouble swallowing could be sign of condition ‘commonly seen in white males’

People who suffer from atopic dermatitis, asthma, or food or environmental allergies are more prone to experiencing eosinophilic esophagitis.

Eosinophilic oesophagitis is when the oesophagus – the gullet that carries food from the mouth to the stomach – is inflamed.

An oesophagus typically becomes inflamed and is unable to contract properly in response to an allergen.

What happens is that the immune system makes white blood cells (known as eosinophils) that causes the oesophagus to narrow and develop rings or abscesses.

John Hopkins Medicine explains: “It can happen at any age and is commonly seen in white males.”

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Symptoms of eosinophilic oesophagitis:

  • Trouble swallowing
  • Chest pain or heartburn
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Stunted growth or poor weight gain in children
  • Food getting stuck in the throat due to narrowing (this is a medical emergency).

The NHS says a diagnosis typically involves placing a telescope down the gullet and, in some cases, biopsies are taken.

“It can be a long-standing condition, but it is not cancer and is not life-threatening,” the health body says.

“It can be successfully managed with diet and/or medications.”

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The immune system disease has only been identified since the early 90s.

Now considered a major cause of digestive system illness, research about this condition is still ongoing.

“There has been a significant increase in numbers of people diagnosed with eosinophilic esophagitis in the past decade,” the Mayo Clinic notes.

“Studies now suggest that the disease is becoming increasingly common, parallel to the increase in asthma and allergies.”

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Environmental risk factors include living in a cold or dry climate, with many people first being diagnosed in the spring and autumn.

Notably more common in men than women, the condition seemingly has a familial link.

This means that if someone in your family has eosinophilic oesophagitis, you are more at risk of developing it too.

Anybody unsure whether they could be experiencing eosinophilic oesophagitis is better off discussing any troubling symptoms with their doctor.

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