Donate to Eosinophilic Esophagitis Research, Patient Care and Education

Eosinophilic esophagitis is a chronic immune disease that prevents food from moving easily to the stomach. In patients with eosinophilic esophagitis, an abundance of red blood cells causes inflammation, which, in turn, causes in abnormal activity in the esophagus. Excessive inflammation can lead to narrowing of the esophagus, tearing of the esophagus, a   build-up of fibrous tissue and abscesses.

At Northwestern Medicine’s Digestive Health Center, a multidisciplinary team of physicians, surgeons and other specialists are highly skilled in diagnosing and treating eosinophilic esophagitis and other disorders of the digestive tract. These specialists are devoted to developing and implementing groundbreaking treatments to relieve the symptoms of eosinophilic esophagitis and to improve patients’ health and quality of life. In addition, Northwestern Medicine’s Esophageal Program is home to physicians who are committed to advancing clinical research, diagnostic testing and treatments in esophagology. By making a donation to Northwestern Memorial Foundation, you will help to advance all these important efforts.

Allergies are thought to be a major cause of eosinophilic esophagitis. When a person experiences an environmental or food allergy, his or her immune system produces white blood cells called eosinophils. Inflammation occurs when these cells collect in the lining of the esophagus. Scientists and physicians have noted that the incidence of eosinophilic esophagitis is increasing with the rise in cases of asthma and allergies.

Symptoms of eosinophilic esophagitis include difficulty swallowing, food sticking in the esophagus, chest or upper abdominal pain, severe heartburn, regurgitation and, in children, vomiting and poor weight gain. Among the factors that can increase a person’s chances of developing eosinophilic esophagitis are the following:

  • Caucasian males
  • Atopic dermatitis (chronic skin inflammation)
  • Asthma
  • Food and environmental allergies
  • Genetics

The scientists and physicians at Northwestern Medicine are eager to find a cure for eosinophilic esophagitis. Your donation to Northwestern Memorial Foundation will facilitate significant research strides that, ideally, will lead to the eventual development of a cure. However, until a cure for eosinophilic esophagitis is found, current treatments address a variety of symptoms. These treatments include:

  • Dietary changes: Avoiding common foods that cause reactions including wheat, dairy, eggs, soy, peanuts and tree nuts and fish
  • Weight loss: Excess abdominal weight can cause acid reflux
  • Elevation of upper body when sleeping: Assists with lessening acid reflux
  • Medication: Proton pump inhibitors can reduce acid reflux and steroids can treat inflammation
  • Pneumatic dilation: A balloon is passed into the esophagus and inflated to open the esophageal stricture

Eosinophilic Esophagitis Research & Care Donation

By making a donation to Northwestern Memorial Foundation in support of leading-edge research and care in the area of eosinophilic esophagitis, you will help to ensure that Northwestern Medicine remains at the forefront of the understanding, diagnosis and  treatment of this challenging illness. Your generosity will provide meaningful support to investigators, physicians and patients alike, and will make a positive difference in many lives. 

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