Pull out your party hats, it's National Eosinophil Awareness Week! I haven't written much specifically about eosinophilic disorders lately because Roo's been doing so well. His last endoscopy in November 2009 was clean, meaning he had no eosinophils (white blood cells) hanging out in his esophagus wreaking havoc on his digestive tract.
Like so many of these crazy allergic diseases, Eosinophilic Esophagitis was pretty much unheard of until the 1970's. Since that time, there's been a rapid increase in cases and no one knows exactly why. The disease is more common in boys than girls, by the way, and while cases appear all over the world across all nationalities, it seems to have a particular affinity for Caucasians.
We are the lucky ones because we've been able to manage Roo's symptoms through simple diet modification. Many children are not so fortunate and experience chronic chest and stomach pain, failure to thrive, vomiting, dysphagia (that's when food gets stuck in the esophagus and needs to be surgically removed or regurgitated - one of Roo's big symptoms) from staggeringly long lists of foods and environmental allergens that no one else seems to think twice about. Can you imagine? And that's not even taking into account the emotional and social impact these kids suffer. For many the only "safe" nourishment is specialized amino acid formulas delivered through feeding tubes.
So, in an attempt to spread the word and garner support for finding a solution to this crappy condition, please visit the American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders. This organization is not flashy but it's incredibly informative, well-organized, accessible, supportive and serves as a fantastic resource for our family and thousands of others dealing with eosinophilic disorders.