Eosinophilic colitis (EC) is the buildup of white blood cells called eosinophils. They gather in the lining of the colon. EC causes long term inflammation.
There are two types of EC:
Primary—EC that occurs on its own
Secondary—EC that is present because of another disease
EC in infants will go away on its own with time. Adolescent EC may cycle between symptom free and severe symptoms.
Eosinophils are part of the immune system. They should only respond to an infection or injury. These cells release a chemical that causes inflammation. With EC, the inflammation starts or continues even though it is not needed. Over time this can lead to tissue damage, ulcers, and polyps in the colon.
It is not clear what causes EC. It is likely a blend of gene defects and the environment. It may also be linked to an allergic reaction.
EC is more common in males. Other factors that may increase a child’s chances of EC include:
You will be asked about your child’s symptoms and past health. A physical exam will be done. EC is hard to diagnose with simple tests. Some tests may be able to rule out other conditions with similar symptoms.
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