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Eosinophilic Disorders

Eosinophilic Disorders

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Eosinophilic enteropathy is a complicated digestive system disorder in which eosinophils, a type of white blood cell, are found in above-normal amounts in one or more specific places in the digestive system and/or the blood.

When the body wants to attack a substance, such as an allergy-triggering food or airborne allergen, eosinophils respond by moving into the area and releasing a variety of toxins. However, when the body produces too many eosinophils, they can cause chronic inflammation, resulting in tissue damage.

These rare diseases are diagnosed according to where the elevated levels of eosinophils are found:

Eosinophilic esophagitis (esophagus)
Eosinophilic gastritis (stomach)
Eosinophilic enteritis (small intestine)
Eosinophilic colitis (large intestine)
Hypereosinophilic syndrome (blood and any organ)


This condition can be divided into two types, Primary and Secondary. The Primary type is further subdivided into allergic and non-allergic forms. The allergic type occurs in association with food allergies, while the non-allergic form occurs when no obvious cause can be found to explain the high number of eosinophils in the digestive system. Because of this, the non-allergic form is thought to be evidence that the body is attacking itself and considered to be an autoimmune disorder.

Common symptoms may include pain, swelling, skin rash, hives, reflux, choking, difficulty swallowing, nausea, vomitting, loss of appetite, stools containing blood and/or mucus, abdominal cramping, diarrhea, fever, esophageal rings, motility problems, bowel obstruction, bowel or stomach wall thickening (from scar tissue buildup), pseudopolyps, protein loss, anemia, malabsorption, developmental delay, bleeding, and several other symptoms that occur in individual cases. Many people also experience nutritional deficiencies and/or side effects from medications, such as neuropathy (nerve damage) or osteoporosis (decrease in bone mass).