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This Week is National Eosinophil Awareness Week

By May 17, 2011

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Those of us with food allergies are often confronted with food we can not eat. We know what it is like to pack a cooler before heading on a trip, and we know how hard it can be to turn down a delicious-looking slice of cake at an office party when we are not sure it is safe. But we always know that there is food we can eat safely at home.

Can you imagine a life without any food at all? Some children and adults with eosinophilic disorders survive on a special type of hypoallergenic formula which may have to be pumped into their stomachs via a feeding tube.

Eosinophilic disorders are an immune reaction to food in which a type of white blood cell (called an eosinophil) multiplies in the body and causes inflammation and tissue damage. The disorder can be extremely painful and make eating difficult.

There is no known cure for eosinophilic disease. Symptoms are managed by eating an elimination diet - for some people, this means avoiding all foods, or all but one or two simple foods.

For more information on eosinophilic disorders, and ways that you can help children and adults living with the disease, see the American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders (APFED).

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