Eosinophilic gastritis (EG) is a buildup of white blood cells called eosinophils in the stomach. EG can lead to inflammation, tissue damage, ulcers, and polyps. This can make it hard for the body to get enough nutrients from food.
EG may occur in cycles. Symptom may fade or stop for a time, then they may flare up again.
It is not clear what causes EG. It is likely due to a blend of genetics and the environment.
Eosinophils are part of the immune system response to problems in the body. Part of their normal function is to cause inflammation that helps trap harmful material. With EC, eosinophils build up when it is not needed or remains longer than needed and causes unnecessary inflammation. It is not clear what causes the buildup. It may be linked to the presence of an allergen.
Factors that may increase your child’s chances of EG include:
Symptoms may include:
Complications may include:
You will be asked about your child’s symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. EG is hard to diagnose with simple tests. However, some tests may be able to rule out other diseases with similar symptoms.
Tests to rule out other conditions include:
A biopsy is the only way to confirm EG. During a biopsy, tissue samples from an endoscopy are examined under a microscope to confirm a diagnosis
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Treatment focuses on managing symptoms and decreasing damage to the stomach. Treatment options may include:
Foods that cause symptoms will need to be avoided. For some people, removing milk and soy will resolve symptoms. This is often true for infants.
Proteins, such as soy, nuts, eggs, or milk are common allergens. A dietitian can help with meal planning.
Other changes may include:
Medications are used to manage EG. These may include:
Medications are also used to treat complications. These may include:
Medications to manage allergies or asthma may also be needed.
If the opening from the stomach to the small intestine becomes too narrow or blocked, then surgery will be needed to fix it.
There are no current guidelines to prevent EG because the cause is not clear.
American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders
Healthy Children—American Academy of Pediatrics
Canadian Association of Gastroenterology
Sick Kids—The Hospital for Sick Children
About eosinophilic gastritis (EG). The Southeast Eosinophilic Disease Center of Atlanta, Inc. website. Available at: https://www.seedcenteratl.org/about-eosinophilic-gastritis-eg. Accessed June 15, 2017.
Eosinophilic gastritis. American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders website. Available at: http://apfed.org/about-ead/egids/eg. Accessed June 15, 2017.
Eosinophilic gastritis. EoE Resource website. Available at: http://www.eosinophilicesophagitisresource.org/eosinophilic-gastritis. Accessed June 15, 2017.
Last reviewed August 2017 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Michael Woods, MD, FAAP