If you have difficulty swallowing and digesting, it could be due to food sensitivities and possibly EOE.
Flowers Blossom and GI distress
If you've noticed that you often experience unpleasant symptoms like heartburn and a bitter taste in your mouth after the flowers begin to bloom, take center.
What we understand about GERD
GERD can involve a range of symptoms which range from heartburn and burning behind your sternum to the sense of liquid (or meals) coming back up to your throat. "GERD ranges from the person who goes out on date night, eats a lot, and then has heartburn and regurgitation after that evening, to patients who have constant acid reflux which has resulted in acute nausea and inflammation in their stomach," states Scott Gabbard, MD, a gastroenterologist at the Cleveland Clinic who specializes in esophageal disorders.
What we understand about EOE
In the word of Gastroenterology, EoE -- which manifests generally in a cough, irritation in the throat, or trouble swallowing without coughing -- is a hot topic. "It will not get as much media as you would expect but it appears to be increasing in incidence," Dr. Gabbard states. "We also don't fully know why it occurs. The thinking is that it may be because of genetics and environmental exposure." Interestingly, EoE is diagnosed only with an endoscopy. "Typically you should not see eosinophils in the lining of the esophagus, but individuals with allergies have high numbers of these 'infectious cells' within their airways," Dr. Gabbard states. "With EoE, some kind of allergic response causes a large amount of those eosinophils to come in the lining of the esophagus which can influence the ability of the esophagus to squeeze food to the gut." Here are the health reasons to never ignore heartburn.
It's possible to have overlapping symptoms
With GERD and EoE sharing numerous symptoms, how do you know which one you have? If you generally encounter these symptoms in spring and summer and you do not receive any relief from antacids or even acid-suppressing medication, ask your doctor to order an endoscopy to see precisely how bloated your esophagus is. "When I see a patient having difficulty swallowing or pain without consuming, it may often be EoE," says Alexandra Guillaume, MD, a gastroenterologist at Stony Brook University Hospital in New York. "It happens as soon as the eosinophils--responding to a type of allergy--interrupts the esophagus, causing the esophagus itself to become spastic. That makes it difficult for patients to consume."
Eat to cure GERD and EOE
Luckily both GERD and EoE may be treated with dietary changes, and there are some EoE natural treatments that could help you manage your symptoms. In general, experts recommend people with symptoms to prevent eating fatty or spicy foods, chocolate, and mint and also to be wary of using fish oil supplements. "Pregnant women (or girls on hormone replacement therapy) can also experience these symptoms, as well as those on blood pressure and some antidepressant medications," Dr. Guillaume says.
You will need meds
The pharmacy aisles are packed with over-the-counter treatments for acid reflux, indigestion, and general stomach discomfort. If you discover yourself routinely reaching for Tums and Maalox, you should speak with a physician. "To diagnose GERD, the principle is that in the event you've got typical symptoms such as heartburn and regurgitation that improves with medication--usually a two-month trial of a proton pump inhibitor (PPI)--there's no need to do any additional testing," Dr. Gabbard states. "But anyone with heartburn that does not respond to acid medications should visit a doctor to discuss reserving an endoscopy." And, if you are undergoing weight loss, vomiting, severe nausea, or acute trouble swallowing, always find a physician right away.