Eosinophilic Gasteroenteritis (EG)
What is eosinophilic gasteroenteritis?
Eosinophilic gastrointeritis is a form of eosinophilic enteropothy affecting the stomach and small intestine. Eosinophilic enteropothy causes a buildup of toxin releasing white blood cells (eosinophils) that are normally part of the body’s immune response. The specific type of enteropothy (such as gastroenteritis) is determined by the area of the gastrointestinal tract affected. The increase in eosinophils leads to polyps, tissue break down, inflammation, and ulcers.
Other names for eosinophilic gastrointeritis include EG, EGE, EGID, eosinophilic gastritis, eosinophilic gastroenteropathy, and eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders.
What are the symptoms of eosinophilic gasteroenteritis?
Symptoms of EG can include:
- skin rash
- acid reflux
- stomach cramps
- loss of appetite
- blood loss in stools
- bloating (with possible ascites)
Symptoms often overlap with other gastrointestinal diseases and illness, making diagnosis difficult.
What causes eosinophilic gasteroenteritis?
The exact causes of EG remain unknown. There is evidence to suggest that it is caused, in some cases, by hypersensitivty to certain food or allergens. Commonly, a family history of allergy presents alongside EG. EG is slightly more common in men. EG most often occurs between the ages of 20 and 50. Preexisting asthma, allergy, and eczema seem to increase risk.
How is eosinophilic gasteroenteritis diagnosed?
Biopsy and endoscopy are currently the only ways to diagnose EG.
What are the treatments for eosinophilic gasteroenteritis?
Though no complete cure currently exists for EG, treatment of symptoms can greatly improve the condition of patients and prevent further damage. Strict regulation of diet can ease some symptoms. Certain corticosteroids may be helpful in treatment. Immunosuppresive drugs can also be helpful. In cases where the intestines are obstructed surgery may be necessary.
Where can I find out more about eosinophilic gasteroenteritis?