The Start of My EoE Journey
I am starting off with a disclaimer. This article and all articles on this blog are not medical advice. I am speaking from my own experience. Best to discuss eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) related concerns with a gastroenterologist. After that being said, I hope my experiences will offer some sort of encouragement if you have EoE.
I am 35 years old and I think I have experienced EoE symptoms since around the age of 14. I remember suffering from food impaction several times when eating bread and had to regurgitate the food around that age. I had bad heartburn too around that time and had an upper endoscopy procedure. Then I took a PPI for several years to treat the heartburn However, I was not diagnosed with EoE until I was 29.
Until I had an effective treatment, I often had difficulty swallowing and occasionally food impaction. I didn’t know what swallowing normally was like at this point and if I was just overreacting. Nearly every time I swallowed, I worried how bad it would be. I had a system where swallowing water with how I controlled my swallowing would usually help. One day I had a horrendous incident where I had the worst food impaction I ever had and I thought I was not going to survive the incident. At that point, I knew I had to go to a doctor to figure out what was happening.
I saw a gastroenterologist and he recommended for me to undergo an upper endoscopy procedure with a biopsy. After the procedure, he diagnosed me with eosinophilic esophagitis. He saw I had rings in my esophagus and mucosal furrowing. Below are real photos of my esophagus. The biopsy showed I had a high eosinophils count. The diagnosis appeared to be straightforward at this point, but treatment was lengthy and difficult.
The doctor had a few options for me to try: PPI, budesonide, dilatation, and elimination diet. I tried them all. I will go into my experiences for each of them in my next article.