How is eosinophilic esophagitis treated?
There is not yet a cure for EoE or other EGIDs. After your child is diagnosed with EoE, their healthcare team will create an EoE treatment plan to help manage the symptoms and prevent further damage.
We treat EoE in three ways: medication, diet and esophageal dilation. (These are sometimes called the "three Ds:" drugs, diet and dilation.) At Children's Colorado, we work with your family to find the best EoE treatment plan for your child.
Medication for EoE
One treatment option for many kids with EoE is taking steroids, a type of medication to help control inflammation in the esophagus. Your child's doctor may prescribe topical steroids, which are swallowed from an inhaler or as a liquid. Your child's doctor may also prescribe an acid suppressor to help decrease reflux symptoms and control inflammation.
EoE is a lifelong condition that may require changes to your child's lifestyle, especially their diet. In this case, an allergist will help test for and identify foods that could be causing an allergic response.
Many children with EoE will go on a single food-elimination diet where they must avoid specific foods for several weeks. If your child feels better, you can work with your doctors and dietitian to add foods back to their diet one-by-one. Your child may need repeated endoscopies so doctors can learn whether they are tolerating these foods.
EoE elimination diets
Children with EoE are often allergic to more than one food, in which case their doctor may prescribe a stricter elimination diet, such as a four- or six-food elimination diet. In this case, your child will avoid a combination of the foods most likely to cause allergies, including milk, soy, eggs, wheat, peanuts/tree nuts and seafood. The medical team will guide your family on which EoE diet is best for your child.
With any elimination diet, it is important to involve a dietitian in your child’s care to ensure they are receiving enough nutrition. Learn more about elimination diets for kids.
Dilation for EoE
In severe cases of EoE, the tissue of the esophagus may narrow (called "a stricture"). When there's a stricture in the esophagus, food may not be able to pass from the mouth to the stomach, which can cause food to get stuck (food impaction). We treat esophageal strictures with dilation (stretching) of the esophagus. At Children's Colorado, our providers have extensive experience performing this procedure on kids and teens with EoE.
Get answers to frequently asked questions and learn even more about our approach to EoE treatment.
Why choose Children's Colorado for your child's EoE or EGID care?
Children's Colorado nationally-ranked Digestive Health Institute is a leader in clinical care and research in eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders in kids. Here, our Gastrointestinal Eosinophilic Diseases Program has been providing outstanding, individualized care for children with EoE and other EGIDs for more than a decade.
Unlike many other EoE programs, we focus on providing multidisciplinary care for every patient. This means that our team of EoE experts, gastroenterologists, allergists, psychologists and dietitians works together to treat all aspects of your child's health – from food allergies to EoE symptoms to mental health and beyond. All of these pediatric specialists see patients in one appointment and in one convenient location through Children's Colorado's Multidisciplinary Clinic.
As an academic research institution, our Program has access to the latest technology and knowledge to diagnose, monitor and treat kids and teens living with EoE. In fact, we are leaders in improving care for patients with EoE through innovations like the minimally-invasive Esophageal String Test and the transnasal endoscopy technique.
At Children's Colorado, we see children and teens with EoE from around the United States and the world. Our nurse coordinators are available to help book appointments to make traveling for care as easy as possible.