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Patient finds relief in treatment for chronic esophagus inflammation

A Stanford medicine patient regains quality of life after receiving treatment for his rare inflammatory esophagus condition.

If you're a foodie like me, you're filled with excitement at the thought of your next meal, and even this mention of yummy goodies may already have you counting down the minutes until your lunch break. Now, imagine sitting down to eat, and rather than excitement, you feel fear. You're unsure whether the next bite of food will go down smoothly, or send you to the emergency room.

This was a daily reality for David, a patient with a chronic immune condition that causes his esophagus to become inflamed. As food moves down David's esophagus to his stomach, inflammation could occur at any instant, making it hard to swallow or lodging food in his esophagus.  The only remedy, at that point, is an emergency endoscopy.

In a recent article and corresponding video, David describes his experience as a Stanford Medicine patient with this condition, called eosinophilic esophagitis. Working with Stanford gastroenterologist Nielsen Fernandez-Becker, MD, PhD, David finally found relief. Fernandez-Becker prescribed a proton pump inhibitor, a medication that reduces the amount of stomach acid made by glands and the stomach lining.

Fernandez-Becker's personalized approach to treating David's case, rather than having him undergo an elimination diet for allergy testing that didn't fit his busy lifestyle, was a success. David's condition, which is chronic and thus requires ongoing management by his Stanford physician team, is now under control, and he has only had two food blockages since going on the medication more than five years ago.

David's story is part of the Our Patients series that highlights Stanford patient experiences.

Video courtesy of Stanford Health Care; photo of magnified case of eosinophilic esophagitis by Nephron

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