What is Eosinophilic Colitis?
Eosinophilic colitis (EC) is a rare allergic disorder of an unkown cause in which eosinophils, a special type of white blood cells, can be found in the colon. In many cases a food that triggers allergy can be identified. Both children and adults may be affected.
Disorder is a part of eosinophilic gastroenteritis that may affect only the colon, or any other part of the gastrointestinal tract from the esophagus to the rectum.
Symptoms of EC may include (1):
Eosinophilic colitis is a chronic disease and symptoms may appear in flares. Overgrowth of fibrous tissue may cause narrowings (strictures) and colonic obstruction.
Diagnosis can be confirmed only by biopsy(taking a sample of colonic mucosa) made during colonoscopy and examination of obtained sample with the microscope.
Eosinophils in the blood may be (not always) elevated, and red blood cells and iron may be reduced due to chronic bowel bleeding. Excessive amount of proteins may be found in the stool. Ultrasound or CT may reveal thickened colonic wall.
Skin prick test may reveal one ore more foods that trigger food allergy. Diet elimination test can reveal additional foods that do not cause allergy but they still irritate the colon.
Foods that cause allergy or irritate the colon should be eliminated from the diet.
Treatment of eosinophilic colitis as such is not known, but inflammation can be reduced by corticosteroids(Prednisone). Cromolyn sodium helps in some cases.
- Eosinophilic gastroenteropathies (healthline.com)
Article reviewed by Dr. Greg. Last updated on April 12, 2011