Stories about: Eitan Runinstein

Taste test

When describing how most kids react to a plate of their least favorite foods, the term melodramatic would be an understatement.

“If I have one more bite of broccoli, I’m going to be sick!”

“Yuck! Spinach again? It makes me gag.”

But for a small portion of kids, these terms aren’t exaggerations; they’re medically accurate statements.

Cameron Ledin is one of those children. The 8-year-old was recently diagnosed with eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), a severe allergic inflammation of the esophagus that causes his body to have terrible reactions to a wide range of foods. When a person with EoE eats, his immune system can mistake certain foods as invaders. This causes white blood cells to attack the throat, and can lead to terrible pain in the stomach, joints and head.

EoE is rare and difficult to diagnose, especially in young children who can’t clearly express what they’re feeling. Complicating things even more, EoE symptoms often change over time, or won’t occur for hours or days after the person has been exposed to a trigger food, making it hard to pinpoint exactly what caused an inflammation. With so many variables involved, differentiating EoE from other food allergies or gastrointestinal issues is very tricky.

In Cameron’s case, proper diagnosis took years of testing.

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