Imagine if food caused pain… nausea… reflux… was hard to swallow or suddenly became stuck in your oesophagus… That can be the reality for people with an eosinophilic gastrointestinal disease (EGID) like eosinophilic oesophagitis (EoE).
EoE is a chronic, allergic inflammatory disease of the oesophagus (food pipe that connects the mouth with the stomach). A specific type of white blood cell called an eosinophil (pronounced ee-oh-sin-oh-fill) builds up in the lining of the oesophagus and can cause inflammation and tissue damage. Symptoms can include trouble swallowing, stomach or chest pain, persistent reflux, nausea, regurgitation of food or a food can get stuck in the oesophagus (called a food impaction), which may require emergency medical attention. The estimated prevalence of EoE is as many as 1 in 1,000 people and it affects people of all ages. People with EoE commonly have other allergic diseases such as IgE (immediate) food allergies, asthma, eczema and/or hay fever.
Having an endoscopy with biopsies is the only way to confirm the diagnosis of EoE at present. The diagnosis cannot be based upon symptoms alone. Treatment options include diet modification, medications and in some cases a procedure called a dilation may be required if the oesophagus has become very narrow. The symptoms and day-to-day management may significantly impact quality of life.
ausEE Inc. is a national health promotion charity whose mission is to improve the lives of those affected by eosinophilic diseases like EoE through providing support, evidence-based information, resources, advocacy and by campaigning to raise awareness and funds for research in Australia.
ausEE Inc. will be at the Free From + Allergy Show, being held at the International Convention Centre, Sydney on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 October 2023. They will be raising important awareness about EoE and the work they do to support the community. One way ausEE does this is through their Australian Allergy Friendly Finds pages on Facebook and Instagram. These pages are dedicated to sharing all things allergy friendly including food, places, products and recipes to help people living with an EGID and/or allergies.
If you’d like to find out more about eosinophilic gastrointestinal diseases, incluidng EoE and ausEE’s support networks, please come visit our stand at the Free From + Allergy Show. Our Charity Ambassador, Eddie Woo, will also be joining us on Saturday 21 October at 12.40pm for a session on ‘Supporting young people to thrive with allergies’. We hope to see you there!