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Eosinophilic Gastrointestinal Disease Program

The Eosinophilic Gastrointestinal Disease Program at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, MA provides diagnosis and treatment for Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE), a condition that causes inflammation in the esophagus in both adults and children. The inflammation is caused by immune cells called eosinophils, which not normally present in the esophagus. 

Symptoms and diagnosing EoE

Some of the most common symptoms of EoE in children include:

  • Trouble eating (feed dysfunction) 
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Food getting stuck in the esophagus

In adults, symptoms of EoE include:

  • Difficulty swallowing solid foods and food impaction
  • Chest pain refractory to antacids
  • Heartburn
  • Upper abdominal pain
  • Persistent cough

To determine if your symptoms are caused by EoE, our expert physician will review your symptoms and any necessary diagnostic tests, including an upper endoscopy with esophageal biopsies. Once we understand the cause of your symptoms and the presence of EoE, we can determine the best way to treat your unique condition.

Treating EoE

The management of EoE includes pharmacologic, endoscopic and dietary therapy. The goal is to relieve symptoms and to get rid of the inflammation in the esophagus. Therapy is individualized depending on clinical symptoms, endoscopic findings, histological assessment and personal preference.

Are food allergies and EoE connected? 

Yes - Approximately 70% of patients respond well to dietary manipulations. The food allergy that is associated with EoE is quite different from the "classic" food allergy. Unlike "classic" food allergy, ingestion of food(s) causing EoE only affects the esophagus and does not cause the typical allergic reactions such as hives, swelling, wheezing or anaphylaxis.  Skin prick testing, patch testing and blood tests may be helpful in identifying the food trigger(s) in some cases. 

John Leung, MD
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John Leung, MD

Title(s): Director, Center for Food Related Diseases at Tufts Medical Center; Co-Director, Food Allergy Center at Floating Hospital for Children; Allergist; Assistant Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Medicine, Pediatric Allergy, Gastroenterology, Pediatric Gastroenterology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-5883 (Gastroenterology)
Fax #: 617-636-9292

Allergic rhinitis (seasonal allergy), anaphylaxis, angioedema, asthma, celiac disease, chronic urticarial (hives), drug allergies, eczema, eosinophilic esophagitis/eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders, food allergy (e.g. peanuts, cow milk, soy, etc.), food intolerance (lactose, fructose, fructan), food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome (FPIES), immunodeficiency, oral allergy syndrome, pruritus, sinusitis, stinging insect allergy, wheat hypersensitivity

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