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Eosinophilic Gastritis—Child

  • Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Publication Type:


Eosinophilic Gastritis—Child


Eosinophilic gastritis (EG) is a condition that results in swelling of the stomach. It can make it hard for the body to get enough nutrients from food.

EG may happen in cycles. Symptoms may fade or stop for a time and then may flare up again.


EG is caused by a build-up of white blood cells called eosinophils. These cells are part of the immune system. They cause swelling when there is an infection or injury in the body. With EG, the eosinophils build up in tissue when they are not needed. This leads to long-term swelling. Over time, this damages tissue and causes ulcers and polyps in the colon.

It is not clear what causes EG. It is likely due to genetics and the environment. It may also be linked to an allergic reaction.

Risk Factors

Things that may raise a child’s risk of this problem are:

  • Genetic health issues
  • Family members with allergies or asthma
  • Food allergies
  • Seasonal allergies
  • Atopic dermatitis—eczema
  • Other eosinophilic gastrointestinal diseases


EG may cause:

  • Severe belly pain
  • Swelling of the belly
  • A feeling of fullness after eating a small amount
  • A burning feeling in the chest
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loose stools with or without blood
  • Tiredness
  • Problems feeding in infants


The doctor will ask about symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. EG can be hard to diagnose with tests. Other issues of the stomach or intestines can cause similar problems. Tests to rule out other conditions are:

  • Blood tests
  • Allergy tests
  • Endoscopy—a scope is passed through the mouth to the stomach to view the area

A biopsy is the only way to confirm EG. A sample of the stomach will be removed to look for eosinophils.

Upper GI Endoscopy.

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There is no cure. The goal of treatment is to slow or stop damage. Options are:

  • Dietary changes, such as avoiding foods that cause symptoms and following a nutrition plan
  • Medicines, such as:
    • Steroids to ease swelling during flare-ups
    • Immune suppressants


There are no known guidelines to prevent this health problem.





  • Chronic gastritis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/chronic-gastritis.
  • Eosinophilic gastritis. American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders website. Available at: http://apfed.org/about-ead/egids/eg.
  • Eosinophilic gastritis. National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) website. Available at: https://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/eosinophilic-gastroenteritis.
  • Fahey, L.M. and Liacouras, C.A. Eosinophilic Gastrointestinal Disorders. Pediatr Clin North Am, 2017; 64 (3): 475-485.
  • Zhang, M and Li, Y. Eosinophilic gastroenteritis: A state-of-the-art review. J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2017; 32 (1): 64-72.


  • Chelsea Skucek, MSN, BS, RNC-NIC
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.