|About 1% of children and adults have eosinophilic esophagitis. Eosinophilic esophagitis is a poorly understood and often misdiagnosed condition causing difficulty swallowing, food impaction, heartburn and increased risk for reflux and vomiting. High concentrations of eosinophils (a form of white blood cells) invade the esophagus in eosinophilic esophagitis patients.|
D Simon et al. Frequent sensitization to Candida albicans and profilms in adult eosinophilic esophagitis. Allergy 2013: In Press.
In rare cases, it can cause severe restriction of the esophagus requiring emergency surgery. The exact cause(s) of eosinophilic esophagitis are not well known, but may be related to allergies to foods and inhaled allergens. Treatment for eosinophilic esophagitis is not well established, however use of steroid medications and avoiding food allergens may be helpful for some people.
The common mold or yeast Candida albicans may also be related to development of eosinophilic esophagitis. A Swiss study of 35 adult eosinophilic esophagitis patients reported that 8 patients (23%) had high IgE antibody levels to Candida albicans while another 7 patients (20%) had low to moderate levels of IgE C. albicans antibodies. Several case studies have also reported that Candida esophagus infections can occur simultaneously with eosinophilic esophagitis and use of anti-fungal medicines can improve both conditions. Much more study on causes and treatments of eosphophilic esophagitis are needed. (LC comment- perhaps the use of steroids can increase Candida growth in the esophagus and make eosinophilic esophagitis worse).