A Rare Disorder Leaves Children Able to Eat Few Foods and Parents Seeking Creative Solutions
[Source Staten Island Live]
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — At lunchtime, Juliana D’Esposito eats alone. The 2-year-old Great Kills resident has “grabby hands” and likes to take food from her daycare classmates. Although it saddens her parents, they know the alternative is far worse: Juliana could suffer a serious allergic reaction.
Anthony Gerardi, on the other hand, knows only to take food Mommy gives him. The 2-year-old from Richmond Valley will sweetly pronounce the complicated name of the disorder that affects him and Juliana: Eosinophilic esophagitis (Ee-uh-sin-uh-fil-ik Uh-sof-uh-JI-tis).
The condition, known as EoE or EE, is characterized by elevated eosinophils (a type of white blood cell) in the esophagus.
When persons with the disorder eat something causing an allergic reaction, it can injure their esophagus. Symptoms include vomiting, difficulty swallowing, reflux that doesn’t respond to therapy, poor appetite and growth and abdominal or chest pain, according to the American Partnership For Eosinophilic Disorders (APFED).
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