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Common Questions From Families

Is it typical for this disorder to come so suddenly? Could it have been virally induced? Could it also leave suddenly, or more realistically, could she grow out of it?

Eosinophil-associated gastrointestinal disorder (EGID) can present acutely in association with a viral appearing illness. While the start of symptoms may be sudden, it is likely that the intestinal inflammation was present well before the onset of symptoms. The new insult (i.e., the viral illness) may promote the severity of the symptoms because of the underlying problem. However, it is important to note that EGID is a chronic disorder and usually presents gradually rather than acutely; it also does not go away quickly. However, it does respond rather rapidly to effective treatment. In your child, the effective treatment appears to be an alteration in the diet. A true remission is only determined by repeat endoscopy and biopsy. Because of the unusual acute presentation in your child, an experienced physician should carefully scrutinize the biopsy slides; one must be sure that the problem is truly EGID and not another process.

Is the lifespan of someone with this disorder shortened?

The long-term consequences of EGID are currently being studied. However, most patients with EGID do not have a life-threatening disease and can live a long life.

Does someone with this disorder always have elevated eosinophils?

The eosinophils are sometimes elevated in the blood (<half of the patients) and their levels generally correlate with the severity of tissue disease. So, the eosinophil levels in the blood often return to normal.

Is this disorder specific to particular foods?

A variety of foods can be associated with EGID. Unlike classic anaphylaxis, there appears to be a broader range of foods identified as culprits. This area is under active research investigation.

Can eosinophilic esophagitis be seasonal?

Eosinophilic esophagitis does have seasonal variation in some patients, typically with worse symptoms in the spring and summer.