Symptoms of eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders

Eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders (EGIDs) — eosinophilic esophagitis, eosinophilic gastritis, eosinophilic gastroenteritis and eosinophilic colitis — are characterized by higher than normal amounts of a type of white blood cell (eosinophils) in organs that make up the digestive system. Inflammation in the digestive system caused by these conditions can lead to a variety of symptoms.

Common symptoms

Symptoms of eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders may vary depending on the area of the digestive system affected, although overlap of symptoms is common.

Common signs and symptoms of any of the four types of EGIDs may include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach pain
  • Chest pain
  • Refusal to eat
  • Food getting stuck in the esophagus
  • Acid reflux that doesn't respond to usual therapy, such as proton pump inhibitors —medications that reduce acid production in the stomach
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Poor appetite
  • Bloating
  • Blood in the stool
  • Inadequate nutrition (malnutrition)
  • Slower than normal rate of growth
  • Weight loss
  • Difficulty sleeping

Symptoms can also vary greatly from one child to the next, sometimes differing depending on age. Vomiting, refusal to eat and slower than normal rate of growth, for example, may occur more commonly in young children, whereas difficulty swallowing or food getting stuck in the esophagus may occur more frequently in older children.

June 17, 2014 See more In-depth