EGIDs, or esosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders, refer to a constellation of conditions characterized by higher-than-normal levels of eosoniphils, a type of white blood cell, in the tissues of the digestive system.
Eosinophils are normally one of the big guns of the immune system, fighting off parasites and other harmful invaders. In EGIDs, for reasons that are still poorly understood, they mass in the digestive tract and release their powerful infection-fighting toxins, causing a range of symptoms depending on their exact location and the severity of the individual case.
For some people, the eosinophil invasion can be traced to one or more food allergies, and removal of the offending foods brings remission. Other cases seem to be idiopathic–that is, without an identifiable cause.
EosinophilGirl has exactly zero medical credentials, but likes to be informed and has been busy reading and asking questions. I hope to post more about what I learn as I blog, but for a better introduction to EGIDs, I recommend:
- The American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders (APFED)
- Campaign Urging Research for Eosinophilc Disease (CURED)
- About Eosinophilic Disorders (from the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital)
- Eosinophilic Enteropathy (from the National Institutes of Health Office of Rare Disease Research)