Food Restriction May Improve Allergy-Related GERD

Allergens can be identified in children with eosinophilic esophagitis, study suggests

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Over 75% of children with gastroesophageal reflux caused by eosinophilic esophagitis (EE) can reduce their symptoms by identifying and avoiding foods that trigger symptoms, according to the October issue of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. However, an editorialist believes the study does not present enough "rigorous scientific proof" to support food elimination to treat the condition.

"Properly designed trials should be conducted before advocating this form of testing and therapy," writes Amal Assa'ad, M.D., of the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.

In the study, Jonathan M. Spergel, M.D., Ph.D., of The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and colleagues subjected 146 children (median, 5.24 years) diagnosed with EE to skin prick and atopy patch testing. EE was defined by the presence of more than 15 eosinophils per high power field in densely involved esophageal biopsy specimens. Reactive foods were eliminated from the diet of patients and additional biopsies were performed after four to eight weeks.

Thirty-nine patients had a clearly identifiable food allergy, causing esophageal inflammation that could be prevented by removing the food from their diet. Another 73 patients had EE improvement upon diet modification.

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